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Dravet Syndrome Foundation, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Epilepsy, Health, Philanthropy, Public Foundations

Mission: The mission of Dravet Syndrome Foundation (DSF) is to aggressively raise research funds for Dravet syndrome and related epilepsies; to increase awareness of these catastrophic conditions; and to provide support to affected individuals and families.

Results: To date, DSF has awarded over $2M in Dravet-specific research grants, more than any other nonprofit organization, and over $80K in patient assistance grants. Even though research might not move as quickly as we as parents would like to see, we don't want lack of funding to be slowing down the process.

Target demographics: We collaborate globally with researchers, geneticists, clinicians, and other professionals with an interest in Dravet syndrome and related epilepies, as well as serving patients and familes across the globe.

Programs: •Research Grant Program – This program offers grants for research directly related to Dravet syndrome and associated epilepsies. Our research grants fund initial research hypotheses that have not been fully explored. The results extracted from this type of research will help bring untested research to the point that it can qualify for larger governmental funding. Research applications will be judged principally on novelty of the hypotheses, innovative approaches with a direct relevance and application to Dravet syndrome and related epilepsies, scientific quality, strength of approach, and likelihood of success. •International Ion Channel Epilepsy Patient Registry (IICEPR)– This registry (co-funded by the DSF & ICE Alliance) is owned by University of Michigan and Miami Children’s Hospital, but will be available to all interested researchers. It will collect basic information and genetic test results of individuals with Dravet syndrome and related epilepsies worldwide. The establishment of this registry will expedite future clinical trials and will serve to improve communication of ideas amongst interested researchers, as well as assure rapid distribution of any new information that may benefit patients and their families. •DSF Annual Research Roundtable – This annual meeting allows researchers, geneticists, neurologists and other professionals with a strong interest in Dravet syndrome and related epilepsies establish a “research roadmap”. By allowing this consortium of specialists to establish a plan, the DSF can facilitate the development and implementation of better treatments by funding research projects that address the critical challenges of this syndrome and which will offer the most promising breakthroughs at the fastest pace possible. •International Patient Assistance Grant (PAG) Program - This program offers grants to patients with Dravet syndrome and associated epilepsies for necessary medical expenses associated with these conditions that are not covered through private insurance or other assistance programs. Three percent of donations, after expenses, are allocated to this program.

Community Stories

46 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Hilary12

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am beyond grateful for the Dravet Syndrome Foundation. They have helped us in desperate times when no one else could. Having a child with Dravet is very expensive. The DSF knows this and has helped countless families over the years, including my family. They are the number one place I direct doctors and other professionals to find the most information about Dravet, as well as the latest research. We would be lost without them, truly! We love you DSF!

Client Served

Rating: 5

So fortunate to know of this great organization for children with Dravet and their parents. It is so helpful to be able to go to one spot for the latest research info, parent support, financial assistance and more,

thank you Dravet Syndrome Foundation!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

as a parent of a Dravet child with limited resource and an incredible amount of "needs". My son was fortunate to benefit from a patient assistance grant to recieve a jogging stroller. The process was easy and I sincerely appreciate the efforts of this foundation!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Dravet Foundation was amazing at helping meet our needs! We needed a nighttime activity monitor to help us determine what types and how frequently our 5 year old daughter was having seizures at night. DSF accepted our application, called us to say that we were selected for the grant and then completed the order 3 days later! It feels great to have them on our side when Dravet makes us feel all alone sometimes.
-Candice C.

Review from Guidestar

Pam_70

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I am a mother with children who have uncontrolled seizures. The Dr have pretty much given up on my kids and have told us to prepair for their deaths. This group has given me some place to turn to learn more so that I am able to bring new information to the table when speaking with their Doctors.

Annabel H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dravet syndrome Foundation is a hugely professional charity, with an incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated board. They support families internationally - families such as ours, by helping with an adaptive stroller, which has made a huge difference to us.
They also give us hope for the future with their impressive research programme. Thank you

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a parent of a child with Dravet Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome Foundation gives us hope that research into Dravet Syndrome is a priority. The foundation also gives us a support network as well as providing equipment which makes an enormous difference to the individual which then has a positive effect on the whole family - For us, our daughter was granted an iPad. The whole process was made very easy for us (which also makes a huge difference in our life) and we had a very quick and personal response. The iPad has made a huge difference to my daughter and I would like to thank Dravet Syndrome Foundation for this and the hope that they give us.

Karen91

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Dravet Syndrome Foundation is an amazing organization that has changed our lives for the better. Our son Miles is 5 yrs old and suffers from Dravet Syndrome. The Dravet Syndrome Foundation recently awarded Miles an Adaptive Stroller. This is something that our insurance had denied and we had not been able to afford ourselves. As Miles has gotten older and outgrown a regular stroller our entire family has suffered as we have not been able to enjoy anything that involved long walks, the outdoors etc... Miles tires easily and can have a seizure at any time. We used to enjoy museums, the local zoo, even walks around our neighborhood but now that Miles is 85 lbs I can no longer carry him long distances and this puts him in great danger if we were to get more than a block away from home and he were to have a seizure. With the award of this adaptive stroller we can now enjoy all of those things again :) I can now feel safe in taking him out and know that if he does have a seizure he is strapped in and I can get him home safely. Our entire family is forever grateful to The Dravet Syndrome Foundation... they have given us our freedom back :)

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Dravet Syndrome Foundation has been truely AMAZING to us. Our 4 yr old son Miles was awarded both a cooling vest and an IPad by the foundation. These are life changing expgifts that we would not have been able to obtain had it not been for THe Drravet Syndrome Foundation. On good days when Miles can go outside his cooling vest helps to keep his tempture regulated so that he can play for more that 5 mins at a time. On the bad days when he cannot go outside the IPad provides education and entertainment. Miles has SEVERE visual sensitivities to lights/patterns which make travel, doctors appointments, haircuts, shopping etc...extremley difficult. The IPad has given him something to focus on so that we can avoid additional visual and sensory triggered seizures. Slowly we are gaining some control in our life. We are eternally greatful for the help the DSF had provided. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!

Wendy79

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter Anna (8 yrs) was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome at 10 months of age. Anna is significantly delayed globally with daily seizures. We enjoy being outdoors and are an extremely busy family.
Traveling with Anna with her personal belongings as well as her medical equipment
have made it difficult at times, leaving us with the feeling that just staying home is easier and less stressful.
We have been granted the gift of an adaptive stroller for Anna through the Dravet Foundation.
I cannot tell you how grateful we our for this gift of freedom for Anna. To be able to pack her up with her belongings knowing she will be comfortable and safe should she have a seizure is so comforting.
This foundation has helped so many families and brings happiness when we need it the most!
Thank you,
Wendy Conte


Review from Guidestar

Abby7

Board Member

Rating: 5

When my daughter was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, DSF founder, Lori O'Driscoll, showed me that there was still hope. DSF has been devoted to raising funds for research that will help lead not only to better treatments but, someday, to a cure for Dravet Syndrome and related epilepsies. DSF is incredibly responsible about how it spends its funds, and never takes its eye off of the needs of its community. I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am so proud to be on the DSF board of directors. When my daughter was first diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, we were told by the geneticist that we should find other Dravet parents to band together, raise money and locate a doctor willing to do early stage research into a promising avenue of gene therapy. This task seemed monumental, but two weeks later I met two members of the DSF board and learned that, in less than two years since they formed the DSF, they had already accomplished this, and the research was underway! Since then, I have become more and more involved, and have learned that the DSF founders are not only hard-working, dedicated moms, they are also well-organized businesswomen who make sure that virtually 100% of every dollar raised goes to the most promising avenues of research, or to provide assistive devices and services to Dravet children who otherwise would be unable to afford these life-changing tools. It makes me feel so good to know that we are making the lives of these children and their families a little bit better, and that someday, the research we fund may lead to a cure for my daughter and all of the other children and adults suffering from this catastrophic condition.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a grandmother of a child with Dravet Syndrome and have worked with the Dravet Syndrome Foundation from the time her diagnosis was made 3 years ago. We live near the foundation headquarters, (tho their concern and reach are world-wide), so it has been fairly simple to volunteer in the many fund-raising events and activities. The young women who founded and run the organization serve as true inspirations for us all: their energy, intelligence, ingenuity, and commitment to their cause seem endless. They work so hard to raise funds to support research for a cure, as well as treatment options and improvements, for those suffering from Dravet Syndrome, whether or not the specific research will benefit their particular child. Despite all of their efforts, The Dravet Syndrome Foundation, Inc. is in desperate need of additional monies to fund some very promising new research. And, due to the nature of this de novo mutation and the proposed research, the findings would benefit other, more pervasive conditions as well. I will continue to join in the efforts to raise these funds and hope others of you will support us.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a grandparent of a child with Dravet Syndrome. We live in Connecticut so it seemed logical, following this devastating diagnosis, to become involved with an organization based here. But the impact of the Dravet Syndrome Foundation is more than local: Its support of patients and their families, information gathering, and funding of crucial research reaches literally around the world. My experience working with the women who founded the organization, the men & women who serve as volunteers and the professional advisers has been amazing. I have rarely encountered a more professional, intelligent, caring, creative, energetic group of people. These are people who are doing everything humanly possible to enhance the quality of life for those with, and to find a cure for, Dravet Syndrome. I am truly proud to work with them as a volunteer.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Dravet Foundation is an invaluable resource for my family. My son was diagnosed in November 2012 with Dravet Syndrome. The foundation has provided us with information on getting insurance coverage for my son's medications. They helped us get in touch with a doctor who specializes in Dravet Syndrome. Most importantly, they have provided support to us as we learn to cope with our son's diagnosis.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My 8 year old son Bryant Weasel was recently awarded an IPAD 2 from the Dravet Syndrome Foundation. Bryant suffers from Dravet Syndrome and began having seizures when he was 3 months old. At the age of 18 months Bryant experienced a status seizure that lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes. After that seizure Bryant lost his ability to speak, walk and began to show intellectual delays. At this time Bryant continues to be delayed globally. Although his receptive speech is almost on target his expressive language is that of a 2 yr old. The IPAD that was funded by the DSF will be used as an Augumentive Communication Device utilzing the PROLOQU App. He has been using the device at school and his IEP team recommended one for home use. Our private insurance denied this request. We are truly excited to be given the opportunity of getting such a fantastic device and are delighted to watch as Bryant will now be able to express his wants and needs. Thank you so much!! This organization is TRULY AMAZING!!!! :)

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter Emalyne had her first seizure when she was 3 months old. After months and months of wondering we finally received her diagnosis of Dravet syndrome right before her first birthday. This organization is amazing. They are doing research and they offer hope, help, and guidance in all aspects of our little girls life, and the many lives of other children effected by this syndrome. Thank You for all you do! Jeffery & Michele Wolfe

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a 16 yr old son with Dravet Syndrome who was blessed to receive an IPad2 through the DSF Patient Assistance Grant Program. In the past I have seen DSF offer other medically necessary items like cooling vests through the same program. I think it is incredible that such an organization is devoted to not only raising money for research, but also provinding support to the families. Thank you DSF for all the wonderful things you do!

Review from Guidestar

Tamara W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter Isabella Grace Wilson was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome at the age of three. Due to prolonged seizures Isabella lost over 50% of her brain causing major delays in all areas. At school her Occupational Therapist worked with Isabella with an Ipad. She demonstrated for us, our daughter’s ability to learn and communicate using one. Isabella’s teacher and OT encouraged us to try to purchase an Ipad for home. We are very thankful for the Dravet Syndrome Foundation, as Isabella was a beneficiary of an IPad2, and she uses it daily at both school and home. DSF is an excellent foundation that has provided helpful and caring information on the disease of Dravet Syndrome and has provided invaluable tools for those who are in need. Thank you DSF!

Becky37

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter, Amanda, was the recipient of an iPad2 from the special session offered by the DSF Patient Assistance Grant Program. The process for applying for the grant through the Patient Assistance Grant Program was a very user friendly and efficient. Amanda began having seizures at 4 months of age and at age 10 was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome. Amanda has been using an iPad at school and has shown an increase in classroom participation and communication. We are very excited to have to opportunity to utilize the iPad to continue to increase her skills and make it easier for her to be consistent with her skills across environments, which she struggles with. DSF has and continues to be a great source for information and assistance by providing resources, research and increasing awareness of Dravet Syndrome and related epilepsies. Thank You!!

gloverkarla

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son Xavier was picked to receive an iPad. It has been such a blessing. He is happier and learns better with it! With the financial hardship of being a single parent/caregiver I would have never been able to provide it for him. So thank you DSF for making the impossible possible. We appreciate you and everyone who contributes to the organization! Happy 13th bday Xavier!

Review from Guidestar

Kim_58

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been raising a child with Dravet syndrome for the past 8 years. In my quest to find other parents like myself, I had the pleasure of meeting and becoming close friends with two of the people who ultimately started the Dravet Syndrome Foundation. I have volunteered for the foundation whenever I could since its inception because I believe in what they are trying to accomplish. It was very exciting to know that there was now an organization that was setting out to do research for our children. Dravet syndrome is a catastrophic disease that ultimately changes every aspect of the afflicted child as well as their families' lives. The Dravet Syndrome Foundation has not only set out to do research in hopes of finding a treatment, or a cure, to help us, but they also provide assistance for families in need of medical equipment or other devices that can help make their lives just a little bit easier. In my case, my son has severe OCD as a symptom and cannot be left by himself unsupervised at any time. This made it very difficult to get anything done around my home, such as clean, cook, or help my other son with his homework. The Dravet Syndrome Foundation provided me with closed circuit cameras for my house and I cannot put into words the difference this made in my life. Now I can function around my home without compromising my son's safety. What the Dravet Syndrome Foundation has accomplished in such a short time definitely speaks for the hard work and dedication of its Board of Directors. If a treatment is to be found for this horrific disease, I have no doubt the Dravet Syndrome Foundation will be involved somehow.

Caitlin P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with the DSF, I am very inspired by the people who run this organization. The leadership is so fantastically devoted and tireless in working to achieve their goals. As a relative of a child with Dravet, I am so grateful the organization that this organization exists to help.

Christine54

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

the dravet syndrome foundation has helped so much with our family. Our daughter daignosed at age 1.5 with dravet syndrome. we were a mess and had no where to turn. We found this foundation and felt we had a family and support that we could never imagine. In most cases people feel that have to go thru things alone and when we found this foundation we were no longer alone. they helped up with sings symptoms and other support to help us find a way to deal with this horrible disease that destroys our kids. We started to show our support back with doing a walk and getting our community involved in this foundation to find a cure. We pray that some day the will find a cure for our kids.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been very active in the world of Dravet Syndrome for 6 years, working on committees and with various professionals. Two years ago, I wanted to step back as I felt that I had done "my bit" and wanted to spend more time with my family. However, I was so impressed by the drive, commitment and professionalism of the DSF, that I felt I just had to join them to support them. I had already worked with one of the co-founders of the DSF, in another organisation, and knew that she would take the organisation forward to achieve great things for Dravet families and research towards a cure. The DSF was also the only organisation committed to funding research for a cure. For me, that was (and still is) the most important objective.

As a volunteer, especially already with huge stresses of everyday life, including having a child with Dravet Syndrome, it is so important to have faith in the organisation, to see efficient use of all of the resources and, perhaps most importantly, to see tangible results of your volunteer efforts. I have taken great pride in representing the DSF in various meetings with doctors. It is hugely satisfying to work together and to see ideas turn into concrete plans, which have then gone on to achieve results, such as the annual DSF research Roundtable, in which researchers and doctors share information and collaborate.

The DSF continues to achieve amazing things. It supports families AND the researchers who are working so hard to find a cure. These researchers constantly need money but also encouragement, to keep them working and motivated, both of which the DSF provides, very successfully. Its professionalism and integrity continually attracts more and more supporters, from the people who fund raise, to researchers, to the clinicians who manage our childrens medical needs. Still more is needed, to get us to THE cure for this catastrophic disease.