We introduced you to Amelia Neumann, 13, as our hero in March. This month, she traveled to Washington, D.C. and proudly represented Epilepsy Foundation Louisiana and the 90,000 people in the state living with epilepsy as our 2015 Teens Speak Up!** advocate.
Amelia kicked off her time in D.C. by participating in the National Walk for Epilepsy on Saturday, April 11th. She joined more than 4,100 people and made the beautiful walk around the Mall while the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. This was the ninth year for this walk and the event made over $950,000.
From Sunday to Monday, Amelia attended the conference and got to meet and socialize with other teens just like her from across the country. She learned about what her year of service as our advocate would entail, brainstormed on Community Action Projects to bring home to Louisiana and listened to others shared their stories about what they have overcome. She also managed to see some great attractions in our nation’s capital!
Tuesday was Capital Visit Day, a big day for all the Teen Speak Up! advocates where they would be meeting senators and representatives from their state to advocate and speak up for people with epilepsy. Amelia met with someone from each office of Louisiana’s 6 representatives and 2 senators. She shared her epilepsy story and asked for increased funding for our programs from the CDC and consideration regarding bills for the use of cannabis oils to treat seizures. Senator Cassidy, Rep. Boustany and Rep. Abrahams specifically met with her.
Amelia says she had a great experience during her trip and is grateful for the opportunity. She has returned motivated and more committed than ever to help teach people about epilepsy. She hopes that by coming together to talk about it and continuing to spread awareness, we can really make a difference. We are so proud of how she represented Louisiana and can’t wait to see what she will accomplish.
**Teens Speak Up! is a program coordinated by the national foundation to rally young ambassadors with epilepsy to personally petition congressional leaders for aid in assuring better access to care, improved public education and research towards a cure for epilepsy.