2016 Recipient Mohamad Khudari

Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 in Education, Epilepsy, Scholarship, Uncategorized |

We are happy to award Mohamad with a scholarship to assist with is advancing education at Valencia State College.  The year after he started high school the conflict in Syria started.  As a young man he was at high risk of being arrested or recruited into the military when he reached 18.  His family moved to Lebanon where he had to start a new school.  From Lebanon his family came to America where he finished high school in Orlando. Mohamad’s favorite hobby is playing the piano and he has a special interest in art and music.  His goal is a degree in audio engineering Technology and Graphic Design.  Congratulations Mohamad and we wish you the very best for your...

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2016 Recepient Daniel Garcia

Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 in Education, Epilepsy, Scholarship, Uncategorized |

We are happy to award a scholarship to Daniel to further his education at the University of Central Florida to assist him with his goal of earning a degree in chemical engineering. Good luck and congratulations Daniel. Daniel wrote in his essay, “The struggles that I have gone through to compensate for negative effects of these events have only fueled my motivation and drive, and I will continue to leverage that strong determination to obtain a long-lasting career that ensures the best possible future for not only myself and my family, but also my community”.  We know you will David.  We all wish you the very best with your endeavors and with all you have had to overcome we know you will...

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2015 Scholarship Winner Announced!

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Education, Epilepsy, Scholarship |

We are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2015 Central Florida Epilepsy Scholarship goes to the 2014 Graduate of Winter Park High School, Ellis Wallman. Ellis has already been accepted to Florida Atlantic University where she plans to earn a business degree and a minor in Spanish Language. We are proud to help Ellis in her studies and support her future endeavors and education. Congratulations,...

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Dedicated to Merle Evanchyk, A Mother Who Gave Birth to A Movement

Posted by on Jun 20, 2014 in Education, Epilepsy |

Merle Evanchyk has never carried a child in her womb, felt a labor pain or nursed a newborn. Yet she is every bit a mother. And not just because she has raised children – although she has done that. She also raised a grandchild. But 71-year-old Evanchyk is more widely appreciated on this day for giving birth to a multimillion-dollar, multidimensional baby – Florida’s epilepsy-support movement. This helping network lobbies for people with epilepsy and provides a multitude of services, from medical screening to job assistance to educating the public about the disorder. It all began simply as some desperate parents crowded around Evanchyk’s kitchen table in her Orlando home, seeking answers to a bunch of mysterious symptoms that threatened their children. ”There are a lot of mothers, and fathers too, who owe an awful lot to Merle Evanchyk,” said Charles Gray, an Orlando lawyer whose daughter has epilepsy. ”If ever there was a local Mother Teresa, she would be it.” Evanchyk – a gray-haired woman who favors polyester prints and pearls, giggles a lot and swims in her spare time – didn’t set out to be dubbed the ”Mother of Florida’s Epilepsy Movement.” She just wanted to be a mother. But even that came unexpectedly. In 1947 she and husband Charles ”Chick” Evanchyk were living in Cincinnati when they got a call from a local orphanage where Merle was a volunteer. The orphanage had two babies – a 17-month-old boy and his 4-month-old sister – whose parents had abandoned them. The boy was extremely upset. Could the couple take the little ones home temporarily? ”But the minute you held them, you knew they were yours forever,” said Evanchyk. The couple adopted the babies and named them Larry and Linda. It wasn’t long before Evanchyk noticed something unsettling about her daughter. As a baby, Linda would sometimes stiffen in her mother’s arms. When she was older, she would run in from playing, plop on the couch, stick her thumb in her mouth, stare ahead and rock back and forth, oblivious. At school, teachers sent home notes: ”Linda’s disruptive. She misbehaves.” Doctors would say, ”Oh, kids do these kind of things.” Some recommended a psychiatrist. Then, in 1960, Evanchyk awoke in the middle of the night to hear moaning and a loud thud. She ran into 13-year-old Linda’s room and found her on the floor, one side drawn up like a marionette’s. She was having a grand mal seizure. It took six months and six more grand mal seizures – one of at least 20 known types of epileptic seizures, characterized by loss of consciousness, stiffening of the body, violent jerking of limbs and irregular breathing – before Linda was diagnosed...

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