Wilmington teen holds inaugural Loop to Loop walk for Epilepsy

 

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) – Three million adults and nearly 500,000 children in the United States live with epilepsy, according to CDC.

A Wilmington teen is using her experience to both educate and raise money for the cause. Isabella Cox battled epilepsy at 9 years old the reason she felt compelled to help others with the condition.

“When I was first diagnosed with epilepsy, when I was younger, there was kind of no one, who kind of talked about it, or anyone we knew,” she said.

Thanks to research and advances from the Epilepsy Society of North Carolina, Cox can live life without the condition, and her mom Sheila Cox remains optimistic.

“We hope she has outgrown it, she’s been seizure free for five years and off medication for almost two years,” said Sheila.

When Isabella was appointed ambassador of the Epilepsy Alliance of North Carolina, that’s when she knew there was an opportunity to give back to the community,  joining virtual walks to raise money was one way.

“I was invited to a recognition dinner for those walks and the money I had raised, and that was when I was inspired by the stories of medical professionals and people living with epilepsy,” she said.

She started an initiative at the start of the summer that has already raised more than $35,000, something her mother is proud of.

“She’s always had a huge heart, always wise beyond her years and we know how lucky she is, she knows how lucky she is,” said Sheila.

The reason giving back is so important to the Cox family.

“She and her family want to give back,” said Executive Director of the Epilepsy Alliance of North Carolina Pat Gibson. “They are the lucky ones, and many of the lucky ones just go on and don’t think about it.”

The inaugural Loop the Loop walk in Wrightsville Beach happened Sunday and drew more than 300 people.

Sheila said seeing so many people support her daughter’s initiative brings her joy and pride.

“It’s been amazing seeing the community come together for such a good cause,” she said.

Gibson is also touched by Isabella and said seeing someone grow out of the condition and want to give back warms her heart.

“When you find people like Isabella who could easily walk away and never think about it again, but no, she wants to do something to give back,” said Gibson.

“I hope to continue this even when I go to college, and come back to my town, like leaving a mark on it, a mark on the epileptic community,” said Isabella. “It’s something that is so close to me.”

According to organizers, the walk helped raise nearly $3,000 on Saturday, and donations keep coming in.

Isabella plans to make the Loop to Loop walk an annual event.

More information can be found here.

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