How to raise $2 million for epilepsy research? Ask a ‘Hamilton’ star to perform – Consumer News

on May18

17 May 2017 | 3:00 pm

CORRECTED

“Hamilton” packs a powerful financial punch, even away from the theater: An appearance by actor Miguel Cervantes, who plays Alexander Hamilton in the Chicago production of the blockbuster show, helped raised nearly $2 million for Cure, a Chicago nonprofit focused on funding epilepsy research.

The cause is personal for Cervantes, whose baby daughter, Adelaide, has infantile spasms, a rare and severe form of the disease. Cervantes’ appearance at the gala doubled as a grand ending for My Shot at Epilepsy, his yearlong effort to drum up awareness of and financial support for epilepsy.

At the gala, held May 15 on Navy Pier, Cervantes performed an original song, “‘Til the Calm Comes,” about his family’s struggles with epilepsy. The song is available on iTunes, and all proceeds will benefit Cure. Cervantes and fellow “Hamilton” cast members also performed Broadway tunes and pop songs.

Susan Axelrod, wife of political analyst and former Obama chief strategist David Axelrod, founded Cure in 1998 after their daughter Lauren was diagnosed with the illness. Cure arose from Axelrod’s frustration that other epilepsy foundations focused on living with the disease rather than finding a cure for it. The turning point came when one group asked her to appear on a panel called “Living Well With Epilepsy” at a conference. “I couldn’t go,” Axelrod said during the keynote Q&A at Chicago Booth’s Social Enterprise Initiative’s OnBoard conference in April. “Those words don’t belong together in a sentence.”

Cure has since raised $48 million to date to fund epilepsy research, and recently received a $10 million grant from the Department of Defense to examine post-traumatic stress disorder and epilepsy.

The amount Cure has raised to date has been corrected.



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