Ali Pejman, a long-time supporter of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, has never been known to sit on the sidelines when there’s work to be done to help others. So when he learned about ground-breaking epilepsy genomics research being co-led by Dr. Mary Connolly, director of the epilepsy program, and Dr. Michelle Demos, neurogeneticist at BC Children’s, he jumped at the chance to get involved.
“Having seen first-hand Dr. Connolly’s passion for improving epilepsy diagnosis and care, I wanted to champion this research, and give her a chance to help her achieve what she already started by adding some more fuel in the tank.” — Ali Pejman, Donor
For Ali and his family, their support of the hospital over the years is inspired by not only their desire to help kids in BC get the best care possible, but also by what they have personally seen and experienced. “I saw for myself how hard and passionately the people at BC Children’s Hospital work for the community,” he says. “We really have the opportunity to add significant value to the work they’re doing.”
The commitment and desire of Ali and his family to improve the lives of others also motivates others to do the same. For example, he and his community of supporters recently donated $800,000 in support of Dr. Connolly’s epilepsy genomics research—well over the initial $450,000 fundraising goal.
The potential of this research to transform the diagnosis and management of children with unexplained, early onset epilepsy is huge. If health care providers are able to diagnose the genetic causes of unexplained epilepsy in children earlier in their lives, they can take action to reduce the impact of frequent seizures on young bodies and minds, and provide personalized treatments that will be more effective in managing their condition.