Get active and spread awareness


Vernice Ortiz

Promoting a walk for epilepsy, on Nov.11, Sophia Loulakis, 12, wears her shirt to encourage awareness of the neurological disorder she’s been battling for five years and now. “I want to make sure everyone is aware, and that it’s not a joke,” Loulakis said. “Cancer may kill but so does epilepsy.”

Mireya Navarro, Staff Writer

Sophia Loulakis, 12, decided to promote epilepsy awareness at Downey High when she realized that many people do not know about it. She, along with her family and friends, collected money from friends, family members, and co-workers, to donate to the Epilepsy Foundation. The purpose of this walk for awareness is to educate people so they know what to do when someone is going through an epileptic seizure.

Though epilepsy is not considered a deadly disease, Loulakis wants people to know that it is just as serious. From this walk for awareness, which took place on Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Rose Bowl, Loulakis and the Epilepsy Foundation ask for one thing: for people to understand how serious epilepsy is.

Loulakis and her family raised $964 for the Epilepsy Foundation, and her family and friends also went out to support her during the walk.

“I got really good vibes with my family and friends being there with me,” Loulakis said.

Knowing that the people at the walk were supporting the same cause made her feel welcomed.

“The people at the walk made me feel so comfortable and happy,” Loulakis stated. “I loved seeing that others care for and support the cause as much as I do.”

The foundation promotes the seriousness of epilepsy to make others aware of what dangers it can lead to. It encourages people to react more maturely to others’ epileptic situations.

“A lot of people laugh and stuff and they think it’s funny but it’s really not,” Loulakis said. “They think that only cancer kills people, but epilepsy can kill people, too.”

Because these seizures can be severe, her friends and family have learned to stay neutral for Loulakis’ own sake.

“Many of the things that Sophia experiences are life-threatening, so I try not to panic or try not to attract too much attention to her,” Loulakis’ friend, Hailee Vasquez, 12, stated.

Another one of Loulakis’ friend, Isaiah Chavez, 12, goes through the same procedures and emotions that Vasquez does.

“Because of the many [seizures] she has had in front of me, I’ve learned to just stay calm for her and to help her as much as I can,” Chavez said.

Loulakis hopes to keep spreading awareness even though the walk is over. She also wants people who are going through these epileptic seizures to know that they are not alone.