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David & Susan Axelrod: "Changing the conversation about epilepsy."

Written By mista sense on Friday, November 19, 2010 | 2:49 PM

In an in-depth interview to be presented Monday and Tuesday on Fox"s "America’s Newsroom," anchor Martha MacCallum speaks with White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod and his wife Susan Axelrod about their daughter’s epilepsy and their research foundation, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy Foundation (CURE). MacCallum also visited daughter Lauren Axelrod at her Chicago-based Misericordia school, which has helped her maintain an active lifestyle and has given the family hope for her future.

The Cable Gamer got access to some excerpts from the interview, below:
David Axelrod on taking a job that kept him away from his family and daughter Lauren:

“There were several times in my career when I had opportunities to go work on a national campaign that I would have done if our circumstances were different. She was having a hard time understanding why I was living in Washington and not home.  And she would say, ‘How come Barack Obama needs so much help?’”

David Axelrod on balancing Lauren’s needs with working in the White House:

“(It’s) the privilege of a lifetime to serve and to serve in that building.  And I never lose sight of that every single day I walk into it.  But it's a privilege to be Susan Axelrod's husband, and Lauren Axelrod's father, and I want to enjoy that privilege as well.”

On the couple’s support for epilepsy research through their foundation, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy Foundation (CURE):

Susan Axelrod: “Our focus has really been to let's try to truly once and for all, start to understand the disease and approach it more rationally, and not just think about the seizures. The initial impact we had was to really change the conversation. And so I think we've changed them the focus from looking at just stopping seizures to looking at what is the disease process here, why do they start, why do two-thirds of them-- we have no idea why they start, why are fully 40 percent uncontrollable, why do they sometimes go into remission, and then return?”

David Axelrod: “And I thought this is a preposterous idea.  You can't just start a national research foundation.  What I learned is what I should've realized from the beginning, which is that there's nothing like the power of moms who are heartbroken, and committed, and hell bent on making a difference.”

There's much more in the interview--so be sure to watch on Monday and Tuesday.    Congratulations to the Axelrods for helping improve health; congratulations, also, to Martha for handling such an important story with grace and sensitivity.  

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