Besides being the first SUDEP awareness organization to provide seizure response dogs, The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation is a leader in epilepsy support and SUDEP awareness, placing an emphasis on empowering patients and their families. Consider the following:
- The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation focuses first and foremost on supporting patients in becoming their own advocates through education, support and resources, rather than on fighting the existing system. While acknowledging the importance of insisting upon institutional changes at the medical level, the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation operates on the belief that informing and empowering people at the grassroots level can create immense change very quickly. When patients are informed, they’re going to be talking to their doctors, who will hopefully be motivated to update their own education and assess their handling of SUDEP until this point. Regardless of what doctors do, though, individuals and families can arm themselves with information and prevention strategies to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones. Their goal is not to fight the system, but rather to raise awareness, create community and provide comfort and support to those living with epilepsy.
- The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation ensures that ALL in need will be served by helping people on a first-come first-served basis rather than case-by-case, assuring that anyone who feels they need help – and may not qualify elsewhere – receives the help they need. While other foundations require individuals to experience a certain number of seizures per month to qualify, CHF recognizes that SUDEP can happen during any seizure, even those experienced relatively infrequently, and seeks to provide those individuals and families with the same level of care and support they provide to all families.
- The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation is a leader in providing grants for seizure response dogs and in placing monitoring equipment in the home, allowing families throughout the country access to a service they may otherwise miss. When formed in 2009, The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation was the first organization in the United States to provide grants for seizure response dogs, and continues today to provide the highest level of funding amongst other organizations.
- The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation creates community.
The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation is important for its work in educating epileptic patients, their families, and their societies in this common yet often preventable phenomenon. Not only do the patients and their families directly benefit from the services of The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation, but society at large remains more whole when its members are supported and well-cared for. Teachers, friends, workers, medical practitioners, and other members all benefit from a life saved. The more we know, the more support a community can provide its members, and the more it will benefit from their presence and contributions.
The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation makes excellent use of donations in several areas:
Information and Awareness
The main purpose of The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation is to spread awareness of SUDEP and to inform people that preventative measures can potentially be taken. We call them “lines defense”. We focus each year on raising this awareness through participation in community events, social media, online advertisements and information in print.
Trained Seizure Response Dogs
Trained seizure response dogs provide vital support upon the onset of seizure, such as calling for help, bracing a fall, and bringing emergency medications to the patient. Immediate response of family members is vital. Seizure response dogs may also have the ability to detect an oncoming seizure and provide warnings ahead of time.
The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation provides individuals and families desiring to purchase a trained seizure response dog with grants to cover a portion of their investment. We do not provide the full cost of the dog because experience has shown that families or individuals who put time and money into the animal are more invested in the integration of the animal into the home, and ultimately make use of this resource much more effectively than those who are simply given a dog.
Seizure Monitoring Devices
The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation also provides the latest technology for monitoring people who experience nocturnal seizures. Emfit, SAMi ™and SmartWatch monitors all provide alerts when abnormal nighttime and/or daytime movement is detected so that parents, spouses or caregivers can respond immediately. Monitors are placed in the homes of seizure patients upon request, and replaced as needed.
In addition to providing information and equipment, The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation provides a forum where individuals and families living with epilepsy can find support, join their voices, and learn from each other.
Every year, The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation hosts two major fundraising events. Each spring, a gala event has a different theme and is a day for individuals and family to come together for fun and community building.
Every fall, The Chelsea Hutchison Foundations hosts STOMP! Out Epilepsy and SUDEP, an epilepsy walk for SUDEP awareness.
Who benefits from the information and resources The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation Provides?
Individuals living with epilepsy …
- receive potentially life-saving information-lines of defense
- have access to potentially life-saving resources
- enjoy a community of welcome, support and understanding
- receive the benefits of heightened awareness from teachers, peers, colleagues and other members of the community
… their families …
- obtain tools and information to help them do everything possible to keep their loved ones safe
- receive financial support for the costs of monitoring equipment and trained seizure response dogs
- find support and understanding from others having similar experiences
… teachers, peers, colleagues, friends …
- find comfort in knowing that those they care for are taking every precaution in safeguarding their health
- are able to better relate to individuals when they understand the condition and sense that the individual and their family feel confident that they are taking all possible measures to ensure safety and wellness for the individual
… doctors and medical staff …
- benefit from patients who are fully educated about their condition and all of its possibilities
- can learn about options and resources for epileptic patients that may not be widely known in the medical community
- begin to understand the vital importance of disclosing every possibility to patients living with chronic conditions so that they may be fully empowered to take as much control as possible over their own safety and well-being
… and members of the greater community.
- obtain awareness of epilepsy and the possibility of SUDEP, raising compassion and understanding between those living with epilepsy and those less familiar with the condition
- enjoy the presence and contributions of those living with epilepsy, knowing that they are protected and that everything has been done to ensure that they will remain an asset to a thriving community
Living with epilepsy can be challenging even for those with the mildest of cases, and simply having access to ALL of the possibilities and challenges that come along with epilepsy can provide comfort and save lives. In addition to practical resources like seizure response dogs and monitoring equipment, The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation provides the information, resources and support to individuals living with epilepsy that will empower them to take full charge of their health and their lives.
Because epilepsy is so common – 1 in 26 Americans will be diagnosed at some point in their lives – and because SUDEP is the leading cause of death among those living with epilepsy, no community goes untouched. Vital information regarding epilepsy and SUDEP empowers those living with epilepsy and educates the rest of us, resulting in a cohesive, thriving community that cares for the basic needs of all of its members.
Ways you can help the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation:
- Spread Awareness – ‘like’ us on Facebook, tell your friends about us and visit our website to help get this vital information out to anyone who needs it
- Give of Time – Contact The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation at ChelseasLegacy@aol.com for current opportunities.
- Give of Funds – All donations will be used to fund the project(s) listed on this website. If you would like your gift to go toward a specific project, please make note at the time of donation. You can make a donation online www.ChelseaHutchisonFoundation.org/donate.
- Attend Our Fundraisers – help us raise money and awareness by participating in STOMP Out Epilepsy and SUDEP http://chelseahutchisonfoundation.org/stomp/ or attending our annual spring gala – Comedy for Canines at ComedyWorks on March 11: www.comedyforcanines.org.