Chicago Bears GM Phil Emery Tackles Epilepsy Head-On as CURE's Newest Board Member
Chicago, IL - As general manager for the Chicago Bears, Phil Emery has watched his team face many difficult opponents on the football field. But no football team has dealt with the challenges that his 30-year-old daughter April has faced since being diagnosed with uncontrollable epilepsy at only 6-years-old.
Emery has decided to do something to help his daughter - and all of those who suffer from the devastating disease. On September 23, he was elected to the Board of Directors of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting research for a cure for epilepsy.
"Joining CURE and its members in the organization's unrelenting effort to end epilepsy is our family's best opportunity to help others conquer this dreaded disease," said Emery.
Emery got involved with Chicago-based CURE because epilepsy has profoundly affected not only his daughter April, but everyone in his family. According to Emery, during his daughter's entire life he and his wife have been forced to make decisions in the darkness of knowing that their choices of treatment had very little hope of long term success in ending April's epilepsy. He believes that CURE's leadership role in the research arena will be able to shed light on the answers and positive result treatments that all parents of children with epilepsy so desperately seek to end the disease.
At CURE's 16th Annual Chicago Benefit this past May, Emery took the stage, thanking the 1200 guests for their generosity. The evening program featured a video of him sharing his personal story.
"Phil's dedication to the benefit and his willingness to share his touching story about his daughter April helped raise more than $2.2 million for epilepsy research," said CURE CEO Robin Harding.
CURE was founded by parents of children with epilepsy who were frustrated with their inability to protect their children from the devastation of seizures and the side effects of medications. Unwilling to sit back and accept the debilitating effects of epilepsy, these parents joined forces to spearhead the search for a cure.
When asked about CURE's newest board member, founding chair Susan Axelrod remarked, "Though epilepsy affects one in 26 Americans during their lifetimes, it is still a disease which many choose to keep secret. So, when someone of Phil's stature is willing to share his family's personal story, it makes an enormous difference for millions whose lives are also touched. We are so grateful to him for joining our team. His involvement will get us so much closer to our common goal---a world without epilepsy."