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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Epilepsy Services Foundation, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Epilepsy, Health, Health Care, Public Health

Mission: The Epilepsy Services Foundation, Inc. is committed to creating a better future and environment for persons affected by epilepsy in West Central Florida, including children, teens, young adults and their families. The office is located in Tampa, FL.

Results: ESF trained over 58 volunteers to be mentors who can provide education and support to other parents and families affected by epilepsy. ESF provided 25 camp scholarships for children and teens to participate in a medically-supervised camp, Camp Boggy Creek. ESF provided 20 scholarships for families to attend one of three Epilepsy Family Retreat Weekends. ESF provided 3 scholarships for University of South Florida medical students and residents to continue their pursuit of neurology as a medical focus. ESF provided 5 scholarships for persons affected by epilepsy to pursue their college degrees. ESF provided numerous epilepsy education programs to students, teachers, childcare workers and nurses in West Central Florida.

Target demographics: Persons affected by epilepsy, primarily children, teens, young adults & their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 800-1,000 persons

Geographic areas served: West Central Florida: Hillsborough, Polk, Hardee, Highlands, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando counties.

Programs: Information and Referral Education & Awareness Graces' Hope Hospital Visitation Program Support Groups Mentoring Project Access Emergency medications Fundraising Volunteer

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Epilepsy Services Foundation has played a very important role for my daughter. Through ESF my daughter has met wonderful young adults that like her, have epilepsy. She so enjoys when they all get together whether it's bowling, a bar-b-que at someone's home or one of the many wonderful events sponsored by ESF. I am so greatful for Epilepsy Services Foundation and all they do for those with epilepsy of all ages.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was diagnosed with nocturnal epilepsy. This was scary and confusing for me and my child. I did not know of any doctors who were good and would help me through this situation. But, when we found the Epilepsy foundation, the families who were already involved helped us find good doctors, and the foundation gave me and my son the support and knowledge that we needed to approach this diagnosis.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter (young adult) is a fairly new diagnosis with seizures. When I learned of an opportunity to volunteer w/ a Camp for kids w/ Epilepsy and called in, I was surprised Tom himself answered the phone! He was very kind, helpful, offered suggestions and warmly invited us to join the Tampa support group as well as a newer diagnosed info group - it was educational! Tom has been very supportive, genuine and truly cares about these young adults :) My goal was to get my daughter involved with young adults dealing with similar things who also operated on a higher level with college and employment - we've been pleased with the short time we've been involved and look forward to future gatherings!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a great organization that has helped our son with epilepsy in so many ways over the years. When he was a young child, they took him to Lightning and Bucs games, they sponsored him to go to summer camp and family weekends at Boggy Creek. This year he will be attending college, and he was awarded a scholarship through ESF.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Growing up with a brother who has been diagnosed with Epilepsy for the last 18 years, I have come to know Tom Orth and the work that they do at the Epilepsy Service Foundation. They have helped so many children, teens, and young adults strive. The Epilepsy Service Foundation portrays a positive impact by promoting awareness through newsletters and Easter day 1mile and 5Ks runs. My brother has gone to Camp Boggy Creek, where families don't have to worry about leaving their kids because there is an around the clock care for them. In addition, it allowed my brother to be around kids with a similar diagnosis, so he was able to interact with others without judgment. Tom Orth has made a positive impact to those not only diagnosed with Epilepsy, but also their families. Recently, I was awarded a Beacon of Hope Scholarship to use towards College in order to become a Doctor. Tom Orth and the Volunteers at the Epilepsy Service Foundation have made a lasting impact on my family’s life.

Tiphanie H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Epilepsy Services Foundation is one that truly loves and works for epileptics and their families everywhere. They sacrifice on a consistent basis so that people like myself, who has been diagnosed with epilepsy for the past 17 years, can have a chance at a normal life. Most recently, I was awarded a $250 scholarship. Being someone who lives on a fixed income with one child and one on the way, this not only makes a difference for me, but also for all the people I intend to help as a future physician's assistant. Epilepsy is still so very unaware among he public and therefore does not see the same donations that other charities see, but they are more than deserving. Please do all you can to help.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ESF is a fantastic service organization. Their work, scholarships, social events, counseling and friendship has given my son with epilepsy newfound hope, friendship, and education. They are a bright spot in an otherwise traumatic experience. Keep up the good work.

Daniel Roberts, Wimauma, FL.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

my daughter has epilepsy. We go to the family meet and greet and we love all the information. They are super compassioned. Tom who runs it is just a lovely man. They help us with the school system for a IEP for my daughter.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just love ESF . They have help us with meeting other family's. They have paid for my daughter to go to camp boggy creek. They can answer questions better then the doctor. They are always just a phone call away. They have family outings. They do a epilepsy education day.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 10 year old son was diagnosed this summer with epilepsy. Fortunately my family had done volunteer work with ESF over the past years and knew who to reach out to. We knew we had a family thru them and the support we would need to help us get through this. It helps to know that we are not alone. Knowing that we have trusted friends, families and the many wonderful people that volunteer at ESF here for us has made this transition of living with epilepsy so much easier for our son and the rest of our family. Being a part of this organization is such a blessing.

1 Natasha11

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was diagnosed at 14 with seizures and from the outset, the support we have had from the ESF has been incredible. They are not only a source of information but we really feel they care, and go above and beyond my expectations. It is so reassuring to know that there is an organization out there that can guide, support, and help us not only as a family, but as individuals too.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I work collaboratively with this organization to help provide free retreat weekends to the families ESF serves. They are very attentive to their clients needs and really listen. What a wonderful organization. I look forward to working with them in the future.

1 Andraya C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was an epilepsy patient at the time about two or three years ago. I didn't know I had epilepsy until my mom saw one happen. For some reason my neurologist didn't suggest this foundation until a year or two into the process. After we found this opportunity it worked out well, it helped pay for eeg's either in the hospital, at the doctor;s office or at home. It helped me determine what type of seizure i had. My seizures were so small that nobody noticed them until my mom saw me had one.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Since 2005, it has been my profound pleasure to be involved with Tom Orth and the Epilepsy Services Foundation in Tampa, FL. With Tom's help 24/7, I was able to take my son, Joseph McElroy, to the best doctors. Tom always made himself available to attend these appointments with us. My son passed away on September 4, 2010, but the best part of his life was being introduced to Camp Boggy Creek through Tom. Joseph attended Camp Boggy Creek for two summers through the Epilepsy Services Foundation and all this was done at no charge to us. No words can describe all that Tom and the Epilepsy Services Foundation did for Joseph and my family. Tom still remains in contact with us and we are forever grateful. Tom and the Foundation have superbly exceeded our expectations and are truly worthy of remaining on the Nonprofits 2014 Top-Rated List.

Sincerely,

Roseanne Marchesiello-Prusher

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering and a board member for two years. This has been a awesome experience. When I needed help and direction for my young daughter they were their to help me. We are greatful for all there support.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

MY DAUGHTER BRITTANY HAS A RARE FORM OF EPILEPSY. THEY HELP ME GET TICKETS TO DISNEY ON ICE FOR MY DAUGHTER. THEY SENT HER TO CAMP BOGGY CREEK AND ALSO HELP US BRING EQUIPMENT FOR FREE INTO OUR HOME FOR HER CARE. I WOULD BE LOST WITH OUT THEM. WHEN I NEED INFO ON NEW MEDS OR HELP WITH A DOCTOR THEY ARE ALWATS THERE FOR ME. THANKS ESF. THE VANHOOK FAMILY

1 Patricia73

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank You Epilepsy Services Foundation, Inc. for providing the grant for my son and other children with epilepsy to go to Camp Boggy Creek. This was Jason's second year going there and I can tell you that it positively changed his life. He was diagnosed with epilepsy about 3 years ago without any known cause. At age 12, he just had a drop-attack on a school field trip and then he started to have more frequent seizures. The medication finally got most of his seizures under control but one of the hardest things to deal with was his feelings of isolation or depression and feeling that others didn't understand. Camp Boggy Creek changed all that and he had such a fun time that he forgot all about his epilepsy. It is such a positive environment. The staff is outstanding. For a kid with epilepsy to go horseback riding, climbing a tower and zip-lining down, swimming, playing sports, going to wood-shop and his favorite - archery- is such an amazing accomplishment. We appreciate all the support that Epilepsy Services Foundation, Inc. has given our family. We see first-hand on how the money raised is used to support children with epilepsy. My son could not have attended without the grant from the Epilepsy Services Foundation, Inc. I would rate this a top nonprofit organization. Thank You so much, The Patella Family.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thanks to the wonderful program, the Epilepsy Services Foundation my son has been able to attend a great camp, Boggy Creek Camp. My son was diagnosed with epilepsy one week after his first birthday. He then over the years increased the different types of seizures and added additional medical issues. He is a wonderful teenager with a heart of gold. With the issues my son has without the support of the foundation my son would not be able to participate in a camp like other normal children. This is such a fantastic program supporting all individuals with epilepsy. I really appreciate everything Tom Orth and the foundation have done for my son.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I have legal custody of our 14-year old niece who has epilepsy. When her seizures started to increase, I called Epilepsy Services Foundation for advice. The executive director, Tom Orth, was such a help to us. He put us in touch with a wonderful support group for parents and kids in Sarasota (JoshProvides.org) and also told us about the support group in Tampa. Tom gave us the names of pediatric neurologists in the area who could help us. We went on an epilepsy walk with Tom last fall and met more people with epilepsy and their parents. Our niece got to participate in a USF baseball game as a "bat girl" because of ESF. She loved it! Most recently, our niece attended Camp Boggy Creek, and her fee was paid for by ESF. She had a week with other kids who have epilepsy, and it was the best week in her life. Our lives have been so enriched by all of the positive changes we've been able to make since we contacted ESF. Thank you thank you!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just wanted to let you all know how wonderful you the foundation was to provide my son the opportunity to go to the Boggy Creek Camp. My son attended the camp for the first time this year because the Epilepsy Foundation sponsored him to go. He had the most amazing week at a beautiful camp that gives children that would not normally be able to participate in camp the opportunity to do so. The Foundation is a wonderful group that makes the dreams of children like my son a reality. They provided a normal week of camp participating in activities that would not have been possible for them without all the medical support and volunteers that were all truly amazing. The Epilepsy Foundation is a wonderful group to provide the support to the children that have this condition. My son has had five different kinds of Epilepsy and has had other learning disabilities and health conditions, but what the Foundation did for him is something I will never forget and will always be grateful. There are really are not enough words that could say how appreciative we are for the life changing experience my son had a the camp.

1 Tracey7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family's experience with the Epilepsy Services Foundation (ESF) has been a very positive one. They have made it possible for our daughter, Samantha, to attend Camp Boggy Creek for many summers now and it truly has been a life changing event for her. Samantha has been able to interact and see that she is not alone with her disease. She faces challenges but it has opened her eyes to the more difficult challenges that others with epilepsy face. We are so grateful for ESF and specifically Tom Orth and the many opportunities that have come our way including informative seminars, workshops, newsletters, etc.