KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaican Epilepsy Association has partnered with The Jamaica National Group in an effort to raise funds to assist with buying medication for people suffering from the illness.
The association hopes to raise US$2,000 via the JN Group’s ISupportJamaica.com platform to assist it’s members.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which clusters of nerve cells, in the brain, sometimes signals abnormally causing strange sensations, emotions, and behaviour, or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms, and can result in loss of consciousness.
Joy McHugh, executive director of the Jamaican Epilepsy Association, explained that the cost of medication can be expensive. She said the cost for two to three, or even four to six different combinations of medications, ranges from $12,000 to $45,000 monthly, per person.
Consequently, many persons living with the disease have difficulty purchasing their medication.
“In Jamaica, it is hard for persons with epilepsy to gain employment,” she pointed out, adding that “once it is known that you have epilepsy, some employers lose confidence in the individual”.
McHugh also noted that one of the biggest concerns for persons with epilepsy, and their families, is how it affects their day-to-day life.
“Epilepsy does not only impact the person with the condition, it also affects how they make a living. Coping with epilepsy is different for everyone; and, many persons cannot find employment; therefore, they are unable to purchase their medication,” she informed.
The epilepsy association was founded in 2002 by Nora Perez, who recognised the challenges of persons living with the disease.
“Our mission is to improve the quality of life of persons in Jamaica who are living with epilepsy,” McHugh said.
She stated that interested persons can contribute to the initiative, under the Jamaican Epilepsy Association Member Care Project, which is mounted on the ISupportJamaica crowd funding platform.
Phillip Lindsay, operations officer of ISupportJamaica, at the JN Group, said that crowd funding is beneficial, as it is a positive method to gain exposure for projects, or business ventures, which need to raise financial support.
Lindsay also explained that contributing to any initiative via the platform is simple and secure. Interested persons can donate by visiting the ISupport Jamaica.com platform at www.isupportjamaica.com, click on the project; and then click the “Fund Project” button.
In addition, donations can also be made via JN Live e-banking; and at any JN Branch or MoneyShop; as well as, through inter bank transfers.
The Jamaican Epilepsy Association is a registered non-profit organisation, funded by donations and fundraising events. Its mission is to improve the lives of persons with epilepsy in Jamaica; and, to make a positive difference, through awareness about epilepsy and first aid training.
It is the only one of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean.