Bottisham family raises £21,000 for epilepsy research in memory of their daughter

Dawn Rahman
Dawn Rahman

A Bottisham woman who has raised more than £21,000 for research into the condition which claimed her daughter’s life has met scientists who are being funded to carry out the work.

Dawn Rahman and her husband David are long-standing supporters of Epilepsy UK through the Rachel Wardleworth Memorial Fund, set up in memory of their daughter, a wife and mother of two children, who was 31 when she died suddenly in 2010.

She had been diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 11 and continued to have seizures throughout her life despite a number of medications which, said her mother, made very little difference.

“With other conditions, cancer for instance, patients can have drugs tailored to their own particular needs.

“With epilepsy, 30 to 40 per cent of patients don’t actually respond to any medication they are given because there’s just not enough known about it,” said Dawn.

“In the UK, 1,100 people die every year as a result of epilepsy and one in every 103 people will suffer from it. These statistics are not known because there is still something of a stigma attached to epilepsy – that it’s somehow not very nice – and so it remains a Cinderella condition.”

She said that despite the condition, Rachel lived her life on her own terms.

“She was planning to take part in the Great North Run, she volunteered at a night shelter in Cambridge and supported others suffering from epilepsy, as well as marrying and having her children.”

Dawn was invited to a reception at the Royal Society, in London, to meet Dr Rebecca Bromley, from Manchester University, whose research project is one of seven to receive grants from Epilepsy Research UK as they search for new treatments and greater understanding of the condition as well as a possible cure.

Dawn’s latest fund-raising venture is a live music/party night at The Shed, in Lode, on June 3. For more information, call 01223 812425.