November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, and no one is more passionate about it than Monique Moizel-Rosenthal.
Her daughter Blayke was diagnosed with a rare neuro-immunological disease. Her body was actually attacking her brain – multiple daily seizures and muscle stiffness were some of her early symptoms.
The family’s eight-year journey at UCLA saw new therapies and new seizure medications developing at a remarkable speed. “All so that a child like our daughter could realize a better outcome and live a healthy, normal life,” said Moizel-Rosenthal.
Seeing the doctors working hard to meet the needs of these critical children sparked her interest in getting involved. “I saw a dire need to help these doctors as they continue to be overwhelmed with assessing, diagnosing, and eventually treating so many kids coming into the hospital for these types of complex diseases,” she told Voyage LA.
Moizel-Rosenthal started the Pediatric Victory Foundation, based in Tarzana, to support the departments of Pediatric Neurology and Pediatric Immunology at UCLA Hospital.
Funds raised from events and donations go to building a world-class destination for children and families seeking treatment and comprehensive pediatric care for neuro-immunological related disorders, including epilepsy, at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.
A recent event at Pinstripes Topanga gave attendees a chance to connect with UCLA colleagues, hospital board members and other parents.
Field-specific presentations by esteemed physician scientists were a highlight, with Dr. Raman Sankar, MD, PhD, and Manish Butte, MD, PhD, speaking at the event.
Before her involvement Moizel-Rosenthal was a clothing designer, but now devotes her time to the nonprofit, and helping other families navigate their “new normal” after a diagnosis.
She says the journey wasn’t easy, especially, “Seeing my daughter who is going through her own ups and downs with her struggle with autoimmune epilepsy. The mountains we had to climb to get her in a stable place is and was the hardest part…the unknown and aftermath of all the side effects of the medicines and struggles in school. But it’s rewarding when I see the positive impact on the lives of affected children and their families through my work. Seeing the difference you can make is truly rewarding and heartwarming.”
For more information on the nonprofit visit pediatricvictoryfoundation.org.