Debbie Flader of Hanover Park, IL received the national Epilepsy Foundation’s Sara Stubblefield Advocacy Award for her years of tireless service as the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago’s Director of Clinical Outreach. The award was given at the Epilepsy Foundation’s 2013 Public Policy Institute in Washington, DC.
Flader’s passion to advocate for people living with epilepsy sprung from her daughter’s diagnosis of the disorder in 1992. Unfortunately, at the age of 29, her seizures are not fully controlled, which can make everyday routines a daily struggle.
“People need to understand how much epilepsy can impact your life,” Flader says. “When they hear stories like my family’s, they know that this is an issue that can’t be ignored. I’m here to stand up and let the facts be known and I’m going to keep fighting until no one has to suffer from seizures.”
The Sara Stubblefield Advocacy Award was established in memory of the late Sara Elizabeth Stubblefield of Mount Vernon, Illinois, and recognizes an individual who is a leader in advocating and making a difference in the lives of the nearly 3 million Americans living with epilepsy. Sara was participating in the Epilepsy Foundation’s annual Public Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. at the time of her unexpected death at age 36 in March 2011. This award honors her life and continues her legacy of advocacy..
The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago is the only comprehensive social service organization serving people with epilepsy in metropolitan Chicago. Created in 1946 as a grassroots effort in Illinois to develop resources for people with epilepsy, the Foundation serves 43 counties in northeastern and central Illinois, and leads the fight to stop seizures, find a cure and overcome challenges created by epilepsy.