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Senator Garcia, District 36 — Press Release


July 26, 2023

CONTACT: Office of Senator Ileana Garcia, (305) 442-6841

Senator Ileana García Champions Funding for Children with Complex Epilepsy

Miami —

In an extraordinary display of collaboration, State Senator Ileana Garcia (R-Miami), of Senate District 36, and then-House Representative, now Senator, Bryan Avila (R-Miami Springs), united forces to secure a substantial $500,000 grant from the State of Florida for Nicklaus Children's Hospital. This funding was specifically designated to advance the Epilepsy Program at the hospital, renowned for its exceptional care of children with medically resistant epilepsy.

Thanks to the unwavering dedication of Senator Garcia and Senator Avila, Nicklaus Hospital now proudly possesses a state-of-the-art high-density electroencephalogram (EEG) system. This cutting-edge technology enables precise and accurate identification of seizure activity within a child's brain. By implementing this advanced equipment, Nicklaus Hospital in Miami has positioned itself at the forefront of pediatric care.

Senator Ileana García shared her personal connection to the cause, stating, "This has been an incredible opportunity for me to give back to a wonderful institution that provided crucial support when my mother and I were at our most vulnerable – when I was diagnosed with epilepsy as a child. I sought treatment from Nicklaus, back then known as Variety Children's Hospital. So, this moment holds great nostalgia for me because I always promised my mother that I would give back someday."

Senator Avila, who was a House representative at the time, expressed his honor in supporting an organization that plays a vital role in the lives of children and families in their community. He emphasized the privilege of having one of the nation's top epilepsy programs available to children in Florida when they require care.

The Epilepsy Program stands as a flagship initiative of the Nicklaus Children's Brain Institute, the first comprehensive medical program in the nation dedicated solely to the care of the developing brain. This program brings together world-renowned specialists in various pediatric neuroscience subspecialties, offering unparalleled clinical experience in the United States. Through integrated research and the utilization of the latest assessment and treatment methods, the team provides exceptional care for children with brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerve disorders. Nicklaus Children's Hospital consistently ranks among the top children's hospitals in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery.

Senator Ileana García’s dedication to improving care for children with epilepsy extends beyond her work with Nicklaus Children's Hospital. Since her election in 2020, she has been a strong advocate for allocating annual funding to the Florida Epilepsy Services Program. This organization played a significant role in funding her own treatments as a child, and Senator García understands the importance of supporting their efforts.

By securing funding for Florida Epilepsy Services Program, Senator García aims to ensure other children with epilepsy have access to the resources and support they need. The foundation provides educational programs, support groups, and financial assistance to families affected by epilepsy. With Senator García's support, the foundation can continue its vital work in improving the lives of children and families living with epilepsy. #NoChildLeftAlone