BALTIMORE (WJZ) — November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, highlighting a disorder of the brain that causes seizures. It affects one in 26 people and is more common in children than any other age groups.
One family is trying everything they can to help their little girl fight this disease.
At 2-years-old, Chloe Dela Cruz was a spunky, healthy girl, until she suffered her first seizure.
“We looked back in the car seat and she was having a seizure,” Joanne Dela Cruz said.
Her mom, Joanne, said it was only the start of many more seizures Chloe would endure.
“We went to the doctor right away,” she said.
Doctors tried multiple treatments.
“We tried seven different medications, we tried an extensive course of steroids,” Joanne said.
But nothing worked. Until a parent told Joanne about a doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital who was trying something new.
“We went and met with him and were introduced to the Keto diet and it has changed our lives,” Joanne said.
“We brought Chloe into Johns Hopkins Hospital in February, really to kind of tweak her diet to be a much more strict or classic Keto diet,” said Dr. Eric Kossoff, with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Dr. Kossoff created the ketogenic diet program- a high fat, low carb diet to help reduce seizures.
“Very quickly, Chloe’s seizures got better and better,” he said.
“We’re 220 days seizure-free,” Joanne said.
It’s a breakthrough for Chloe and her family.
“We’ll be medication-free in the next few days,” Joanne said.
But Dr. Kossoff said he knows there are so many epileptics out there, suffering like Chloe once was, and he’s hoping he can help.
“It’s important to know that there’s so much we can do to make epilepsy be managed and in many cases completely go away and so I tell most of my patients we can really do a lot and make their lives better,” Dr. Kossoff said.