Epilepsy, SUDEP walk a success

Daily Staff Report

Last Sunday’s 3rd STOMP! Out Epilepsy and SUDEP Awareness Walk/Run was a success, according to organizer Steven Shafran. The local walk remembers 16-year-old Chelsea Hutchinson of Littleton, Colorado, who died in 2009 from a seizure while asleep.

“The walk was outstanding,” Shafran said. In its third year, the walk attracted 123 pre-registered walkers and more than 40 volunteers to the grounds of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, though he said final numbers are still being calculated.

Most impressive, he said, was the release of 30 white doves by three families in memory of those who have lost loved ones from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy. Each bird represented a life lost, including Chelsea, and upon release flew in circles above the crowd.

Volunteers included eight members of the AmeriCorps of Washington, D.C. and students from Sherando and James Wood high schools in Frederick County. Refreshments were provided by LongHorn Steakhouse and Olive Garden, and entertainment by Doodlebug the Clown, Monkey Joe and Hampton Thomas with Special Occasions DJ. Christin Yokiel, a certified trainer with Winc Fit in Winchester provided a warm-up for walkers and runners.

Shafran said the museum offered to host the event again next year.

“This community really wants awareness and to support the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation,” he said.

Contact the foundation at www.chelseahutchisonfoundation.org.