A press conference was had yesterday where Jerry Kill announced his Chasing Dreams Fund to support the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota. This is something that Coach Kill is passionate about and to get the fund started he and his wife Rebecca have donated $100,000. The goal is to raise $500,000 by August 1st. (you can contribute to the fund here)
There are a number of challenges that children (and adults) who have epilepsy face but the issues below are the ones that the Chasing Dreams Fund will focus on helping.
- A child has academic performance problems because of epilepsy;
- A lack of support services and resources in schools;
- Children can have difficulties with personal relationships (friends) because of epilepsy;
- Lack of safe and appropriate recreational activities for a child.
So Coach Kill and his established fund will look to support the following...
Camp Oz is a one week residential camp for youth with epilepsy. For 30 years, EFMN has provided a traditional YMCA camp experience for kids with seizures. Families are asked to pay just $200 of the $1,750 cost for one week of camp. This fund will provide additional financial support so kids with epilepsy can attend camp and make their dreams come true!
Seizure Smart Schools started in 2006 with a simple premise: make the school environment the best possible for students with seizures. Students, teachers, school nurses and staff learn about seizures and most importantly, how to respond to a student having a seizure. The "Chasing Dreams" Fund will provide training and materials for schools in MN & ND to help kids chase their dreams.
Educating the public, educating other kids in schools, educating teachers and then giving children with seizures the opportunity to make friends and be normal at Camp Oz are the goals here. Coach Kill and Rebecca are putting significant resources to help accomplish this and this is clearly something they care deeply about.
Kill added: "We want to get in every single school in the state of Minnesota and educate them on how to handle seizures in the schools."
Rebecca Kill said she didn't know what to do the first time she saw her husband have a seizure, but she has learned over the years.
"It's very, very important that we get people to know what to do," she said. "The kids in the schools - they're getting bullied when they have a seizure. We can't have that happen.
"We need the kids to know what to do. We need the principals, the school bus drivers. If we start at the schools, it's going to keep on going."
The obvious question now is, how can I contribute? There will soon be a link on the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota's website where you can contribute towards the $500,000 goal.