Walk for a Cure for Epilepsy in memory of Erin Edwards returns to Argos

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:29 PM EDT
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ARGOS, Ind. (WNDU) - Education and awareness can go a long way in helping families who have a loved one with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder that can cause seizures, confusion and in rare cases, sudden death. It’s what took the life of Erin Edwards of Argos.

Erin was home from college in the fall of 2020, when she took a nap and never woke up. She had suffered an epileptic seizure. The shocking loss stunned her family, but through their grief they’re raising funds and awareness so that more research can be done to cure epilepsy.

Fun loving and fiercely loyal, Erin was a devoted friend and daughter.

“That’s how my daughter was. She was always helping,” said Karen DeMont, Erin’s mother. “I don’t want another family to go through this.”

Erin died in her sleep at the age of 20. She had only been diagnosed with epilepsy a few months before.

“Some have described it as the brain just shuts down. Erin had no other bad seizures. She had had one. She was on track with her medication. She was doing it all right,” said Karen.

Medical professionals have a name for this sudden, fatal epileptic event.

“SUDEP is Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy,” said Londa Aldridge, nurse practioner. “It’s just what we consider in the medical world a medical zebra. We don’t know exactly what it is. And that’s our mission to raise awareness. So that hopefully more funding can be centered towards some way of preventing this from happening to another unfortunate family.”

To help raise funds, Erin’s family will hold a memorial walk, just like they did last year.

“It was amazing the turn out. We have over a hundred fifty people. We raised $86,033,” said Karen.

That got the attention of the Epilepsy Foundation and other professionals.

Karen and Londa were invited to speak at a state coroners conference this year.

“I shared my story of Erin and her history,” said Karen.

And Aldridge helped with the medical information.

“So just getting that SUDEP label on the death certificate, will file it with the CDC and provide us with a more accurate number,” said Aldridge.

To help solve the mysteries of epilepsy and SUDEP.

“Why? I still don’t know why. I still don’t understand it, but that’s why I do this because I want someone to figure it out someday.”

The second annual Walk for a Cure for Epilepsy in memory of Erin Edwards will take place on Saturday, Aug. 13, at 10 a.m. at Argos Community Park. It’s a three-mile walk. There will be food, vendors, a bake sale, t shirts and bracelets for sale. Proceeds will help the epilepsy foundation. Click here to register or donate.

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