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

Summer UpdatesLetter from the Chief Executive Officer

Our office is a buzz with both placement and summer student, which means ice cream and lots of fun! We very much enjoy the energy, creative ideas and fresh perspectives that they bring to the office and will miss them in the fall! Pictured above (left to right) are Scott (Camp Manager), Ashley (Graphic Designer), Joy (Communications Intern), Amanda (Corporate Communications Placement), Bailey (Research Assistant), Hannah (Camp Manager), Kathryn (Project Management Assistant) and Kellen (Communications Assistant).

Through program evaluation and environmental scans, ESWO has identified a gap in our services for youth living with epilepsy. As a direct result, we are working on developing some new and exciting programming, thanks to a grant from the Westminster College Foundation! If you have any thoughts or ideas, we would love to hear from you! Stay tuned for further details! 

As the fall approaches, we would like to remind you about our School Support Program, and would encourage you to link with your local Epilepsy Educator in anticipation of the start of school.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Warm Regards,

Michelle Franklin

Chief Executive Officer

Amanda Michalik

Living with Epilepsy

Amanda experienced her first seizure unexpectedly in 2013 at the age of 25. She remembers waking up in the hospital not knowing her name or what year it was. She experienced another seizure the following week, after which she was referred to a neurologist. A diagnosis of temporal lobe epilepsy was determined following an EEG exam.

After a challenging and frustrating search for anti-seizure medication that controlled her seizures, she sought out further help to learn and manage her condition. It was during this period that a friend of Amanda's mentioned Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario (ESWO) to her, which provided her with reassurance and perspective on her condition.

"There are times epilepsy affects my daily schedule and professional obligations but my determination to work hard in spite of some of the setbacks I've faced has helped me be a successful student," Amanda commented.

Epilepsy was never a part of Amanda's plan for her future, but with the support of her family, friends and professors, she is on track to finishing a postgraduate degree in public relations that has included doing a work placement with ESWO.  As she branches out into the professional world, she is concerned with the process of disclosing her condition to prospective employers. She wishes that more people understood epilepsy better, and credits ESWO for providing education to schools and families.

Annual General Meeting & BBQ
Don't Miss Out

Epilepsy Information Night
For People Living with Epilepsy and Their Families

Learn the basics of epilepsy and how to live well with seizures.

Owen Sound

Date: September 18, 2018
Time: 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Best Western Inn on the Bay (Ballroom) 1800 2nd Avenue East, Owen Sound)

Speakers: Dr. Rick McLachlan, Epileptologist, London Health Sciences Centre and Rochelle Sorzano, Epilepsy Educator, Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario

Free event (including dinner)

Please RSVP by Friday, September 14, 2018 to or by calling 519.433.4073


Date: September 24, 2018
Time: 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Retro Suites Hotel (The Derby Banquet Center) 2 King Street West, Chatham

Speaker: Epilepsy Educator from Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario

Free event (including dinner)

Please RSVP by Friday, September 7, 2018 to or by calling 519.433.4073

Hosted by: Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario and UCB Canada Inc.

Wacky Wednesday Summer Camp
Registration Still Open for August
Don't miss the last few weeks of our Wacky Wednesday Camp! Our safe and inclusive summer camp is open to children ages 4-12 with epilepsy, and their siblings. Wacky Wednesday is a place where children can participate in a variety of physical activities, arts and crafts, educational field trips and make friends. For children who require extra assistance, 1:1 support is available.
For more information, contact

Thank You, Zehrs 
Zehrs raises record amount for epilepsy organizations across Ontario

Last year Zehrs raised $47,936.24 for epilepsy organizations across Ontario. This year's contributions from dedicated community and hardworking Zehrs employees were able to raise $62,752.95!

THANKS to Zehrs staff and customers for your support!


Calendar Raffle
Thank you to those who made our recent calendar raffle a success, including all donors! Big thanks to those who purchased tickets and congratulations to our winners. Check to see if you won. Winners are encouraged to pick up their donations within 60 days. Please contact our office 519.433.4073 or to collect your prizes.
Regional News & EventsLondon Middlesex

Support Group Meeting

  • Third Tuesday of every month  7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Next Meeting Dates:
    • September 18th, 2018
  • Discuss experiences and learn new information in a judgement-free environment
  • ESWO Main Office - 797 York St. Unit 3, London
  • Please RSVP to 519.433.4073 or
5th Annual Seize the Day

With just over a month to go, ESWO will be holding our 5th Annual Seize the Day 5k Run / 2.5k Walk on Sunday, September 30, 2018, 10:30 a.m., at a NEW location: Graham Family Eco Park, 15769-, 16033 Medway Rd, Arva, ON N0M 1C0. Join us as we walk and run to raise funds for epilepsy education, support, and community engagement programs for local communities in Southwestern Ontario. This fun filled family event will include a run and walk, followed by a community BBQ.

  • If you require round trip transportation to Eco Park on the day of, please sign up HERE.
  • Register in advance for $20 or at the event for $25
  • Receive a free t-shirt and have your registration fee waived if you submit $150 or more in pledges
  • Skip the lines! Pre-register, drop off your pledges and pick-up your t-shirts in advance. Pre-registration: September 26 and September 28, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm. 
  • Don’t forget to submit your “I’m Walking For” photos to
Register Online
Pledge Form

Ghouling Pianos

Join us for ESWO’s Third Annual Dueling Pianos event. Dance and sing at an all request Halloween themed piano showdown!
  • Friday, November 2, 2018, 6:00 pm – 12:00 pm
  • Goodwill Industries, Conference Centre (255 Horton St. E, London)
  • Purchase your tickets in advance! Tickets price: $40, includes hors d’oeuvres and live entertainment
  • 19 + ID required. Cash bar
  • Costume contest for best dressed
  • More event information can be found here.

Chatham Kent

New Staff: Sandra Pidduck

We are excited to introduce Sandra, our newest Epilepsy Educator for Chatham Kent. 

Chatham Kent native, Sandra graduated with a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Waterloo in 1990 and went on to get her Masters of Health Administration in 2000. She has spent her career working in a variety of health care settings in London and Chatham area. She did three years working with the Provincial Office of the Canadian Cancer Society educating the public about cancer prevention in Southwestern Ontario. When not working, she is travelling, gardening, doing genealogy and trying to keep up with her teenage daughter. Sandra is really excited to join the team at Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario and to promote epilepsy awareness in children.

Windsor Essex

Christine's Farewell

"Deciding to leave Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario was a difficult decision for me. During my time as an Epilepsy Educator, I met and worked with wonderful people who enriched my life in so many ways; to which I am thankful for. I want to thank you for sharing your stories with me. I feel extremely privileged that I got to know so many of you and your families. You taught me what true strength is and how a community can come together to support one another and lift each other up!"

Welcome Back, Amanda

We are thrilled that Amanda has agreed to take the ropes in Windsor Essex on a full time basis. Amanda has been with the ESWO team since February, providing services in both Windsor Essex and Chatham Kent. Many of you have met her already, but as a reminder, she can be reached at or 519.890.6614. 

Support Group Meeting
  • Third Tuesday of every month,  6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Next Meeting Dates:
    • August 21, 2018
  • Discuss experiences and learn new information in a judgement-free environment
  • Location: United Way
  • Please RSVP to 519.890.6614 or
2nd Annual Seize the Day Run/Walk

On Sunday September 16, 2018 at 10:30am, Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario (ESWO) will host our Second Annual Seize the Day 5k Run / 2.5k Walk in Windsor!

The event will take place at Vollmer Culture and Recreation Complex (2121 Laurier Pkwy, Windsor, ON) to raise funds for epilepsy education, support and community engagement programs for the Windsor-Essex area. This fun filled family event will include a run and walk, followed by a community BBQ.

Pledge Forms
Register Online

Third Party: Chase's Ride

We are excited to announce that Chase will be cycling over 350km in support of his mom and those living with epilepsy for his third year. Stay tuned to his Facebook page for more information about upcoming dates and locations.

Third Party: 7th Annual McGregor Mug Run

  • The McGregor Mug Run & International Beer Fest is back for a 7th year! Race registration is now open and beer fest tickets on sale now.
  • Saturday, September 22, 2018
  • All proceeds will benefit Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario
  • For more information you can visit their website.

Sarnia LambtonSarnia Lambton Family Fun Day
  • Saturday, August 25, 2018 from 1:00 pm - 3:00 p.m.
  • Point Edward Waterfront Park 
  • Join us for some fun in the sun at the splash pad
  • Please RSVP to 519.333.0416 or

Huron Perth

Third Party: Ride for Epilepsy

  • Join us Saturday, September 15th, 2018 at the Ride for Epilepsy at Pyramid Recreation Centre in St. Marys, ON from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. 
  • All proceeds will benefit Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario. 
  • Register online at
  • For more information contact

Third Party: Oxford County Bake Sale

Big thank you to Ava and Lily for hosting a bake sale in Oxford County during Calithumpian weekend in Thamesford. They raised $248.45 in support of individuals like Ava's sister who has epilepsy. Super proud of these two!

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

Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario
797 York Street, Unit 3 | London, ON, N5W 6A8 | Canada

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