CHATHAM, NJ - Katie Hauck knows first-hand about the medical advances being made to cure epileptic seizures. Not only is she the beneficiary of them, she was awake during her own operation.
Last summer, Hauck, 12, a Chatham resident, underwent five operations to relieve her intractable epilepsy, which cannot be successfully treated with medication. The fifth operation came on July 3, with Katie awake during the "resection," which is a procedure to remove the brain tissue that generates the seizures.
FACES (Finding A Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures) helps fund research for innovative procedures such as the one Katie received and the goal is to cure epilepsy, which is caused by an excessive electrical charge to the brain.
Proceeds from the third annual Shana's Cup soccer tournament--set for Saturday, Nov. 30 from noon to 4 p.m. at Cougar Field--will be donated to FACES. Shana's Cup is named after Shana McLaughlin, current Chatham High student who was contracted with Hodgkin's Lymphoma three years ago. McLaughlin is clear of the cancer today.
Each year, the proceeds from Shana's Cup goes to a worthy cause, and this year FACES was brought to the attention of the cup organizers by Hauck, a seventh-grader at Chatham Middle School.
"Her sister, Grace, and her brother (Grant) go to the high school and that's how we heard about it," Chatham High senior Morgran Maltby said.
Last summer, Grace Hauck helped organize a "Relay for Life" to raise funds for cancer research. There were 40 teams who walked, raising $72,000.
Shana's Cup is a round-robin soccer tournament made up of teams from the Chatham High varsity and JV boys and girls teams.
"Last year it was snowing during the games," Maltby said. "We mix up the teams with boys and girls and play 30-minute games. We raise the money by charging for tickets to the games, selling T-Shirts and donations. Last year's game benefited pediatric cancer research."
One of Katie Hauck's neurologists at NYU, is Dr. Orrin Devinsky, founded FACES. Her pediatric neurosurgeon is Dr. Howard Weiner.
Katie and her mother, Marianne, are featured in one of the videos promoted on the FACES site. The video tells about the advances being made through FACES and little-known facts about epileptic seizures. People probably don't know that it is as common as breast cancer.
"Her doctor called her 'My-brain-is-open-and-I'm-awake Rock Star','' Marianne Hauck said. "This is a very rare surgery and not many people are chosen for this kind of procedure. Katie was participating during the surgery, with the doctor asking her to move her arm to pinpoint the tissue that needed to be removed. It was very successful."
To learn more about FACES click here