My friend Samantha and her husband Michael have been together for eight years; together, they have a bright and beautiful five-year old daughter named Lydia. For the past twenty years, Michael has suffered from a worsening form of epilepsy that affects the temporal lobe and causes both petit mal and grand mal seizures. Epilepsy has pretty much ruled most of his life. From years of seizures, he has had shoulder surgery, has suffered damage to his spine, hips and other joints. The medication is no longer effective in controlling the seizures and the side effects are devastating. Michael has unsuccessfully seen multiple neurologists in search of effective treatment. After many hurdles, he was finally able to get in with the USF Epilepsy Center in Tampa, FL. This huge blessing to be under the care of some of the best neurosurgeons in the country doesn’t come without arduous challenges. Since May, they’ve been to several appointments and seen inpatient twice for EEG testing. EEG testing is where they hook Michael’s head to wire leads connected to a machine that reads brain activity. During the testing process, which can take up to five days, the doctor eliminates all medication, deprives the patient of sleep, food (Mainly because he is unable to eat due to the withdraw from his medications and lack of sleep), and introduces flashing lights and triggering sounds, with the goal of inducing a seizure so that they can pin-point the affected part of the brain. Luckily this admission was successful and they are now able to move forward with the testing to verify if Michael is a candidate for surgical intervention. There are still lots of tests to be run: MRI, PET, Neuropsych Memory Evaluation, WADA Test, and possibly an SEEG (Surgical EEG where the leads are placed directly onto the brain through burr holes, instead of the skull). Michael is disabled and unable to work due to his epilepsy and his wife Samantha works full time in addition to being a full time caretaker for Michael and their daughter Lydia. Michael is not able to drive, so for all appointments he has Samantha has to take him and all of them are in Tampa at least an hour away from home, which costs quite a bit in gasoline alone. Most of these appointments are hours long or they require an inpatient admission for which Samantha has to be with him the entire time. This has been very stressful for Samantha as she has to miss work for him to make it to these appointments, not to mention the additional copayments/coinsurances for each test/service can become quite expensive. Samantha and Michael keep their game faces on always and work tirelessly to make ends meet because Michael deserves this chance to be seizure free once and for all. In order for Michael to continue his care, he will need to meet a high deductible and coinsurance. Even with Disability, Medicare and Samantha working full-time, they are forced to choose between drastically improving Michael’s life and paying their monthly bills. Considering everything they’ve been through , I can’t think of anyone else who deserves a cure more than Michael does. He is an amazing friend, husband and father, with a brilliant and talented mind, one of those guys that restores faith in the goodness of mankind. This is why I am asking you to help this family if you are able to. Prayers for a cure are also appreciated, may God bless this family with peace and strength as they go through this.