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Spanish football stars supporting epilepsy goal

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    Spanish football champions Atlético Madrid have lent their support to a UCB epilepsy awareness campaign.

    The Atlético Madrid Foundation joined doctors, patients and UCB in a series of initiatives to reduce the stigma of epilepsy in Spain. This included one of their players making a video with children who have epilepsy, holding a press conference about epilepsy and highlighting the disease during Atlético's match against Almeria on February 21.

    Around  65 million people worldwide are affected by epilepsy. This includes six million people in Europe, of which 400,000 are in Spain. The disease can occur in people of all ages but, of the 20,000 news cases diagnosed in Spain last year, at least half were recorded during childhood or adolescence.

    UCB works with schools, patients and doctors to increase understanding of the disease and are hugely appreciative of the work that the Spanish champions have done to further this goal.

    To coincide with their game against Almeria, Atlético's Jesús Gámez made a video with a group of children with epilepsy. The goal was to normalise the disease, as well as to discuss the benefits of sport and how to deal with an epileptic crisis.

    Gámez promoted the campaign to tens of thousands of his fans on Facebook and Twitter. He also appeared at a press conference before the match alongside representatives from the Atlético Madrid Foundation, the Spanish Epilepsy Federation, a neurologist, three children with epilepsy and Jesús Sobrino, Managing Director of UCB Iberia.

    As well as attracting journalists from high-profile newspapers, radio and television stations, the press event was attended by children who participated in a drawing contest organised by UCB last year.

    During the match itself, epilepsy was given great exposure. During the warm-up and after the half-time interval, a video was shown highlighting the Atlético's Madrid Foundation's support for epilepsy and UCB's campaign to raise awareness among school children.

    Thanks to Atlético, an information brochure was left on the seats of all 55,000 fans attending the game.

    This kind of high-profile campaigning with support from football stars can make a huge difference in how young people view epilepsy.

    Atlético won the game 3-0 but the real winner was epilepsy awareness.

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