The H.O.P.E. Award stands for Helping Out People with Epilepsy
This award is given to individuals or organizations that have done outstanding work to support people living with epilepsy; have spearheaded advancements in epilepsy care or have led groundbreaking research in epilepsy.
A H.O.P.E. award was presented to Monica Diaz-Greco on Saturday, June 18, 2022 at our first-ever EpiC Day event in College Park.
Monica Diaz-Greco is the parent of a young epilepsy warrior, Emma. She is also a professional educator and these two roles together have propelled her to make a real difference in raising epilepsy awareness in Toronto classrooms.
Monica was instrumental in the successful campaign in 2021 to have Purple Day officially recognized by the Toronto Catholic Board of Education. This past Purple Day, she created multiple syllabi that were used in classrooms across multiple boards, bringing high-quality epilepsy education to thousands of students across Toronto. Her passion for changing the culture around epilepsy in classrooms and beyond, not only for her own daughter but for children everywhere, is inspiring. She has already accomplished so much and she is just getting started. We can’t wait to see where her passion leads her and what more she will accomplish!
Michael Alex has volunteered his time, his expertise, and his resources, to bring yoga and mindfulness to Epilepsy Toronto. He started with a weekly session in the back room at the Epilepsy Toronto office and then in the spring of 2020, when the world was turned upside down by the Corona Virus Pandemic, he quickly transitioned to offering his services virtually at a time when they were perhaps most needed. During a year where few things were for certain and all of us faced extreme challenges, Micheal was a bright light who created a safe space of solace and fostered a sense of community for many members of Epilepsy Toronto. He has also helped out with programs for teens, webinars and at our family retreat. He has certainly made a difference in the lives of people living with epilepsy in our community and we are so grateful to have him as part of our Epilepsy Toronto family.
It is rare to find a busy medical professional as involved in grassroots community initiatives as Dr. Taufik Valiante: always willing and ready to share in a support group or workshop; on Purple Day, he is there at UHN, raising awareness; for Purple Walk, he shows up with his research team; for fundraising events like BuskerFest and the Amari Soiree, he will spin the wheel and donate. For this, and for the depth of humanity he brings to his practice – the warmth and care he gives each of his patients, we celebrate him with a H.O.P.E. award.
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP is a law firm that is raising the bar when it comes to providing exceptional support to their employees with epilepsy. They have not only made the accommodations needed, but they have also taken steps to educate their staff and have gotten involved in fundraising efforts for Epilepsy Toronto. We wish all employers would follow their lead!
Dr. O Carter Snead is a driving force in the Canadian epilepsy community, highly respected for his world-renowned surgical practice and ground breaking research in childhood epilepsy. Today, Dr. Snead is being recognized for his outstanding leadership toward furthering epilepsy care in Ontario, and establishing Provincial guidelines for the management of epilepsy that are now widely recognized as the standard of excellence, world-wide.
The Ontario Brain Institute is a non-for-profit research centre seeking to mazimize the impact of neuroscinece and establish Ontario as a world leader in brain research, commercialization and care. Today the OBI is being recognized for the work they have done to advance epilepsy research in Ontario.
Stephanie Holbik, Operations Manager for OBI accepted the H.O.P.E. award on their behalf.
Andrea and Tristan Thompson accepting a H.O.P.E. award in 2017
Dr Lila Georgevich
McKenzie Financial Charitable Foundation
Dr Danielle Andrade
Dr Karl Farcnik
The Dillon Family
Ontario Trillium Foundation
Epilepsy Classroom, Sick Kids
The Toronto Star
Toronto Police Services
Dr Joseph Bruni
BMO Financial Group