Welcome to Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario's E-blast. Your semi-monthly newsletter from Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario covering the latest in epilepsy news from our clients, our agency, and around the world.
February 2018

Epilepsy Awareness MonthLetter from the Executive Director

The ESWO office is a buzz of excitement these days! As a matter of fact, there are boxes everywhere in anticipation of our big move! We are looking forward to our new space and hope that you will join us at our Open House on Thursday, March 15th at 3pm. 

Epilepsy Awareness Month is our favourite time of year and we have some great things planned, including our Annual Epilepsy Information Day on Saturday, March 3rd.  I have been working with ESWO for over 12 years, and still always learn something new from our expert speakers!

As always, we would like to encourage you to get involved in Epilepsy Awareness Month. Stigma and stereotypes still exist and we all need to work together to spread awareness! Let's do this #EpilepsyWarriors!  

Warm Regards,

Michelle Franklin

Executive Director

Ava & ErinLiving with Epilepsy

Ava Pitre had her first seizure when she was a little over 2 years old. A few months later, she was diagnosed with epilepsy and put on anti-seizure medication. “The day the neurologist told us Ava had epilepsy, it was like slow motion”, said her mother, Erin. Currently, she is on her 4th type of medication and has approximately one seizure per day. Mainly when she’s sleeping but it can also happen anytime throughout the day.
“Not all seizures are the stereotypical fall to the ground and shake ones – there are so many different ones”, Erin said. After completing a video EEG, results showed that Ava was mostly experiencing frontal lobe seizures. The day they were given the diagnosis, her neurologist put them in contact with ESWO. They go to monthly support group meetings where they have met other people and parents with epilepsy. “It’s been a saving grace”, Erin said.

Erin also said one of the things that helped in this experience is being educated. ESWO’s staff have given the Pitre family presentations and delivered a teacher in-service. Ava’s classroom also had a Thinking About Epilepsy Presentation. Because of their connection to ESWO, Ava received an anti-suffocation pillow through the Chase Cartwright Fund. The pillow, along with Ava’s SAMi Monitor, provide her family peace of mind, as now they can sleep without feeling nervous.
Erin describes it as a life changing and shattering experience but it is something that brought their family a lot closer and made them stronger.

Purple Nation 2018March Epilepsy Awareness Month

March is national Epilepsy Awareness Month! We encourage our community members to get involved in raising awareness about epilepsy, seizures and seizure first aid in as many ways as possible. Whether it is creating an event, joining a campaign, volunteering, or fundraising, there are many opportunities for anyone to get involved.


  • Hold a Walk-a-thon, Read-a-thon, Dance-a-thon, or a Thumbs Up for Epilepsy Initiative.
  • Organize a Purple Dress Down Day at your office, school, or local business. Everyone makes a donation to participate.
  • Collect pledges to dye your hair purple and join the #PurpleHairRevolution. Download our pledge form.
Complete our participation form to get involved.
Visit our PurpleNation page more information about what's happening in your community, or ways to get involved: 

Epilepsy Information Day
Sign up for our one-day conference
Join us at our one-day conference for educators, caregivers, families and those living with epilepsy. A number of relevant topics pertaining to living well with epilepsy and seizure disorders will be featured. The day will include a number of guest speakers and information sessions. 

  • Saturday, March 3, 2018 from 9:00am - 4:00pm
  • Central Catholic High School, 450 Dundas St. London
  • $25 Registration includes four breakout sessions and lunch
  • New this year: Child minding available
Registration and speaker information available here.

Annual GalaCome On Down ... You're Invited to ESWO's Gameshow Gala

Survey says… this will be one fun filled night! Event will include catered dinner, silent auction, raffle, presentation of the 2018 H.O.P.E. Award to Ontario Brain Institute and EpLink. Guests are encouraged to come dressed as your favourite game show host or contestant.

  • Saturday, April 7, 2018 6:00pm - 1:00am
  • Brookside Banquet Centre, 99 Brookside St, London
  • Tickets $100/per person or $800/table of eight
Looking to help support the event? We are seeking silent auction donations and event sponsorships. Please connect with to help contribute. 

Tickets and more event information is available on our website:

We're MovingOur head office is moving to 797 York St. LondonThe long awaited move is here. As of February 26, we will be located in our new office space: You can find us at 797 York St. London, Unit 3.  Please note we may be unreachable via phone for a short period during the move; but feel free to connect with us via email.

We would love for you to come see the new space at our March Open House to be held on Thursday, March 15, 2018 from 3:00-5:00pm. For more information and to RSVP, visit our website.

Don't forget to update your address books!

YEP!Youth Engagement Program

These four moms are parents to exceptionally amazing youth living with epilepsy. We can't wait for these future leaders to change the world and raise #epilepsyawareness! They all met through our YEP! (Youth Engagement Program funded by Ontario Trillium Foundation) and continue to be amazing advocates for their children and one another.

Learn about our programs and services:

Regional News & EventsLondon-Middlesex

Family Support Group

  • Third Tuesday of every month  7:00 – 8:30 pm. Next meeting: March 20, 2018
  • Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario - 797 York St. Unit 3, London.
  • Please RSVP to (519) 433-4073 or
  • Discuss experiences and learn new information in judgement-free environment.

Annual Epilepsy Information Day

  • Saturday, March 3, 2018  9:00 am - 4:00 pm.
  • Central Catholic High School, 450 Dundas St. London.
  • $25 per person, includes four breakout sessions and lunch.
  • One day conference featuring number of expert speakers and information sessions. Please register online here.

March Epilepsy Awareness Month Open House and Client Party

  • Thursday, March 15, 2018  3:00 - 5:00 pm.
  • Client party at our new office location: 797 York St., Unit 3.
  • Please RSVP to 519-433-4073 or
  • Please bring purple dessert and/or wear purple attire.

Purple Pansy Fundraiser

  • Order purple tulips to support March Epilepsy Awareness Month.
  • One bunch of tulips for $11.
  • Pickup day is March 9, 2018
  • Connect with to order.

Interactive Cooking Class

  • Tuesday, March 13, 2018  4:30 pm.
  • T-Bones Grill House, 953 Charing Cross Rd., Chatham.
  • Ages 10+
  • Advance registration and payment required - Limited spaces available!
  • $15 pp - price is being subsidized by ESWO.
  • More information and registration available on our website.


New Staff

  • Amanda is joining the team in Windsor and will be working with Christine to provide services. Find out more about Amanda here
  • Please feel free to connect,

Meet, Play, Laugh

  • Monthly support group meeting. Discuss experiences and learn new information in judgement-free environment. 
  • Monday, February 26, 2018  6:30 - 8:30 pm.
  • Please RSVP to 519-890-6614 or

New Staff

  • Deanna is joining our staff team to help provide services in Sarnia-Lambton area. Find out more about Deanna here.
  • Please feel free to connect,

Copyright © 2014 Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario. Charitable Registration No.: 11890-0802-RR0001

Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario
690 Hale Street | London, ON, N5W 1H4 | Canada

Tel: 519.433.4073 | Fax: 519.433.4079
Windsor Tel: 519.890.6614
Sarnia Tel: 519.330.0416
Chatham Tel: 519.365.5131