March 2013

Insight - March

Support EpilepsyEpilepsyMarch 2013 Faces E-Newsletter

  1. FACES Gala Night 2013
  2. A Ketgoenic Diet Success
  3. Nutrition Corner
  4. The Dr. Blanca Vazquez Summer Camp Scholarship Program 2013
  5. Emma’s Fundraiser
  6. WEPOD

Epilepsy awareness month

Faces Gala Night 2013

By: Lisa Greiner, Craig Andrews and Pamela Mohr

Gala 2013

More than $4.5 million dollars were raised at the Finding A Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures (FACES) Gala, held on Tuesday, March 5th at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, in support of epilepsy research initiatives at NYULMC. Over 750 guests attended the event, funds from which will provide for life-enhancing programs in cutting-edge research, clinical care, education and awareness programs, and community building events. Seth Meyers of Saturday Night Live fame served as the evening’s emcee.

Gala 2013
2013 Gala photo: (from top left) Master of Ceremonies Seth Meyers; Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO of NYU Langone Medical Center Dr. Robert Grossman; Founder of NYU FACES Dr. Orrin Devinsky; Honoree and Chair Leon Charney with Chair Tzili Charney (seated)

FACES, affiliated with NYU Langone and its Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, funds research to improve epilepsy care, advances new therapies, and fosters a supportive community for children, families and caregivers who live with the challenges of epilepsy.

Susannah with Dr. Souhel
Susannah Cahalan with Dr. Souhel Najjar, the NYULMC doctor who treated her autoimmune encephalitis, about which she wrote her best-selling book, Brain on Fire.

“The mission of FACES is to improve the quality of life for all those affected by epilepsy and seizures,” said Orrin Devinsky, MD, professor of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYULMC and founder of FACES. “But ultimately, our goal is to find a cure. The generous support provided by all of you in attendance tonight will help get us closer and closer to finding the cure.”

Dr. Devinsky and Robert I. Grossman, MD, Dean and CEO of NYU Langone Medical Center, welcomed and thanked the guests before turning the night’s events over to this year’s Master of Ceremonies, Seth Meyers, the head writer, actor and comedian on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Many of FACES key supporters were recognized, including gala chairs Leon and Tzili Charney, who are regarded as pillars of the business and philanthropic communities, with Mr. Charney also the serving as the evening’s honoree. Leah and Michael Weisberg were cited for generously underwriting the event. Additionally, guest speaker and author Susannah Cahalan spoke of her months long experience with autoimmune encephalitis and care by Dr. Souhel Najjar at NYU Langone, which became the basis of her now best-selling book, Brain on Fire.

One of the evening’s highlights was the silent auction of 350 items, one of the largest in New York—including high-end electronics, vacation packages and jewelry—which was an event in itself, raising $300,000 toward the evening’s success. The evening concluded with the annual live auction—chaired by Roger Erickson, Senior Managing Director and Associate Broker for Sotheby’s International Realty, who was joined by guest auctioneer Jamie Ritchie, CEO and President of Americas and Asia, Sotheby’s Wine Department.

Please visit for additional information on FACES.

Photos by Annie Watt Photography.

A Ketogenic Diet Success

KETOGENIC DIETClick below to watch a video made by Emily and her positive results from the ketogenic diet






Nutrition Corner

By: Courtney Schnabel Glick, MS, RD, CDN

March is Epilepsy Awareness Month! Since this is near and dear to our hearts here at the epilepsy center and F.A.C.E.S. we thought it would be appropriate to share two low carb pizza recipes that are favorites of our children and adults on the ketogenic diets.

The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. This diet forces the body to burn fat for energy and create ketones. It has been shown to lessen or prevent seizures in about ½ of children who have uncontrolled epilepsy. The diets are a great alternative for those who have not responded to traditional treatments for epilepsy. A ketogenic diet includes: mostly high fat foods (butter, cream, mayonnaise, oils), limited or no carbohydrates (bread, pasta, grains, sugar, fruit, starchy vegetables) and a healthy amount of protein (meat, fish, eggs). Finding foods that resemble “staples” in the American diet requires creativity and innovation. These two pizza recipes are delicious low carbohydrate options for the ketogenic diets.

The ketogenic diets are medical diet therapies that should be implemented and maintained under the supervision of a registered dietician who specializes in the diet and an epileptologist who routinely works with the diet. Starting the diet without the proper supervision can be dangerous. At the NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, there is a team of dedicated professionals implementing and monitoring patients on the diets. To learn more about these diets please visit our home page or speak with your epileptologist.

Low Carbohydrate “Cauliflower” Pizza


1 cup “riced” cauliflower (1 large head of cauliflower should produce 3 cups of “riced” cauliflower)
1 Egg
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp oregano
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil


1/2 cup Rao’s© or any other low carb sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese


To "Rice" the Cauliflower:
Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain (do not over pulse or you will puree it - If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes (some microwaves are more powerful than others, so you may need to reduce this cooking time)

To Make Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet or 9” round pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup “riced cauliflower”, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, garlic powder, stir. Transfer to the pan and using your hands, pat out into a 9" round.
  3. Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning (if you have leftover olive oil add to the tomato sauce)
  4. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven. Top crust with sauce and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).

Nutrition Analysis (makes one 9” pizza) if cut into 8 slices, per slice: 114 calories, 9g fat, 1.8g carb, 7g protein (1:1 ratio). Whole pizza: 912 calories, 70g fat, 14.5g carbohydrate, 58g protein. *Add 10 slices pepperoni for an additional (100 calories, 8g fat, .3g carb and 4g protein)*

PizzaHigh Calorie-Low Carbohydrate Pizza


4oz cream cheese softened
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 eggs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cups mozzarella cheese


1/2 cup Rao’s© or any other low carbohydrate sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Beat together cream cheese and eggs until smooth, add heavy cream, parmesan and garlic powder
  3. Spray 9x13 inch pizza pan with non stick cooking spray
  4. Put 2 cups of mozzarella on bottom of pan, then pour egg mix over evenly
  5. Bake for 30 minutes
  6. Add toppings and cook until your preference or until cheese is melted

Nutrition Analysis: Makes one 9” pizza, cut into 8 Slices. Per Slice: 247 calories, 19g fat, 2.2g carbohydrate, 16g protein (1:1 ratio). Whole pizza: 1980 calories, 150g fat, 18g carbohydrate, 126g protein

Dr. Blanca Vazquez Summer Camp Scholarship Program 2013

Summer campFACES (Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures) is pleased to accept applications for the 2013 Dr. Blanca Vazquez Summer Camp Scholarship Program. Summer camp can be a wonderful experience for children with epilepsy. Our Summer Camp Scholarship Program serves children with epilepsy in financial need and allows them to experience fun, confidence-building activities.




Emma’s Fundraiser

By: Susan Novin

EmmaEveryone asks what they can do to help us. Our answer is to donate to FACES. Through the cutting edge research funded by FACES, we hope that one day there will be a cure for epilepsy and seizures. This year we decided to set up a FACESforward website honoring our daughter Emma. Emma is nine years old and was diagnosed with refractory epilepsy approximately five years ago. We want Emma to be known for her happy disposition, singing, outgoing personality and curly hair --- not that she has epilepsy. We are fortunate to have friends and family that honor Emma in the FACES gala journal; however, the FACESforward campaign enables everyone to be involved. No donation is too small, as the premise of FACESforward campaign is to bring awareness to epilepsy and the mission of FACES.

We became involved with FACES when Dr. Orrin Devinsky suggested that we attend FACES Game Day at Chelsea Piers. It is a magical day for children and families affected by epilepsy, where they can just have fun. The kids can enjoy rock climbing, dancing, carnival games, and gymnastics in a safe and stigma free environment. Emma always looks forward to attending FACES Game Day.

As we say on our webpage, Emma is not seizure-free, but she is the happiest kid we know. We hope one day to be able to say on our FACESforward website that she is seizure free. It is not too late to set up a page honoring yourself, a friend or a family member…every person that you reach out to will be a little more aware of what epilepsy is and how it has affected you and your family.





Peace Of Mind Lecture Series & Annual Epilepsy Conference



FACES is pleased to introduce a series of cost-free events in support of patients, caretakers and parents who are dealing with the daily challenges of epilepsy and seizures. Our Peace of Mind events are intended to provide education, tools and resources, insight and possibly a new perspective to a community who are the foundation of the FACES family.

Peace of Mind Lecture Series

Tuesday, March 19, 2013: Mood Disorders and Epilepsy
Presented by: Dr. Scott Hirsch

Wednesday, June 20, 2013: Navigating the School System
Presented by: Gary S. Mayerson, Attorney at Law

Bookmark our Peace of Mind web page,, attendance is always free. You may also email us at to be put on our mailing list.

Annual Epilepsy Conference: Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Annual Epilepsy Conference is open to anyone interested in learning about news on epilepsy and seizures – patients, caregivers, parents and medical professionals alike. There is no cost to attend this daylong event.