updated 3/9/2011 9:46:27 AM ET 2011-03-09T14:46:27

CHICAGO, March 9, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CeCe Cares Pediatric Epilepsy Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to provide comfort to children diagnosed with Pediatric Epilepsy, help families burdened with the high cost of medical care and fund research focused on finding a cure, is honoring CeCe Cunningham on the anniversary of her passing from SUDEP or Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy. CeCe battled Dravet Syndrome, a catastrophic form of childhood Epilepsy, for two years.

This month CeCe Cares Pediatric Epilepsy Foundation officially launched and is already poised to help more than 600 families through its CeCe Bear® Initiative and Child Assistance Grant Program.

The CeCe Bear® Initiative delivers bears designed by CeCe's twin sister Reese and North American Bear Company to the leading Pediatric Epilepsy Centers in the US to be distributed to children at the point of diagnosis. The Child Assistance Grant Program provides medical care financial assistance for parents.  Additional donations received fund Pediatric Epilepsy Research Grants to be administered primarily through CURE.

To date, CeCe Cares supporters have sponsored over 600 bears and funded the first two recipients of the Child Assistance Grants, reaching 15% of the first year's goal.

"We couldn't be more pleased with our initial success," said Co-Founder and President Peter Cunningham. "We have surpassed our expectations and have already had the opportunity to help two families in need through our Child Assistance Grant Program."

The grant application period begins each year on March 15th. Once funds have depleted for the year, the program will be closed until the next application cycle and notification will be placed on the CeCe Cares website. Applications will be reviewed and approved on a first-come, first-served basis. An applicant may apply once per grant cycle with a yearly maximum of $5,000 and a life-time award maximum of $15,000.

Information about Epilepsy

The mortality rate among people with Epilepsy is two to three times higher than the general population and the risk of sudden death is twenty-four times greater.

"The United States spends approximately $9.6 billion annually on Epilepsy-related expenses including medical expenditures and informal care." informed Carmita Vaughan, Chief Executive Officer of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy or CURE. "Parents have the strain of comforting their children and funding this very expensive disease."

About CeCe Cares Pediatric Epilepsy Foundation

Founded in 2010, The CeCe Cares Pediatric Epilepsy Foundation is a nonprofit organization created by the Cunningham family in memory of their daughter, Cecelia "Cece" Louise Cunningham, who passed away unexpectedly on March 9, 2010 of SUDEP or Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy after a two year battle with Dravet Syndrome a catastrophic form of childhood Epilepsy. The CeCe Bear® was designed by CeCe's twin sister Reese.

For more information or to sponsor a bear visit:    www.cececares.org

This information was brought to you by Cision http://www.cisionwire.com
 

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