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Rachel Sklar


GPICT: Fighting Epilepsy (So Kids Don't Have To)

Posted: 05/14/09 07:21 PM ET

Today's GPICT comes to us from a girlcrush, because I sort of fell hard for Susan Axelrod this weekend at the WHCD (see here). I didn't meet her, but I saw her a few times in the cocktail crush before the dinner and not only was she stunning and glamorous but amazingly gracious. (You can get a lot out of standing and quietly watching how people interact with underlings.) Later when I took this photo I told David Axelrod that his wife looked beautiful, and his face got all gushy and he said, "I know. She's amazing." And I agreed! So when I saw this morning that she was coming up on Morning Joe, I got geekily excited. (Am I revealing too much here? Oh well.) Turns out the Axelrods were in town last night to host a benefit for CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy) which is the nonprofit organization Susan Axelrod co-founded in 1998 to raise funds and awareness to improve the lives of those living with epilepsy, including hopefully finding a cure.

This wasn't a random act of philanthropy -- the Axelrods' daughter, Lauren, has been battling epilepsy since she was 7 months old. Susan Axelrod wrote pretty movingly about it in Parade magazine earlier this year, and was on Morning Joe talking about it as well (Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski hosted last night's CURE benefit honoring Special Olympics chariman Tim Shriver. Wow, I just realized that there must have been a whole other layer of awkwardness to Obama's Special Olympics gaffe on Jay Leno. Imagine having to face David Axelrod after that. Actually, two other layers: Shriver is the brother of Maria Shriver, who endorsed Obama early in the primaries along with their uncle Ted Kennedy. All that only just occurred to me).

Anyway! That's why CURE is today's GPICT. Donate here, watch Susan Axelrod and Tim Shriver on MSNBC this morning here, read Newsweek's cover story on epilepsy here (atypically written by editor-in-chief Jon Meacham, whose friends had lost their son to it) and read Susan's essay for the Newsweek issue here. And, because there's still that girlcrush after all, look at how gorgeous she looked at the White House Correspondents Dinner here.

I Must Save My Child [Parade]

Susan Axelrod: Agony, Hope & Resolve [Newsweek]

Susan Axelrod & Tim Shriver on Morning Joe [MSNBC]

Donate: CURE [Cure]

GPICT! Gratuitous Public Interest Campaign Thursday! [HuffPo]


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