Student Council chooses 2017 Swine Week recipient

Every year, Edmond Memorial students change the lives of countless Oklahoma residents during Swine Week. For the past thirty years, Memorial has raised money to better their community in the best way they know how.

This year, StuCo has chosen the Isaiah Stone Foundation as the 2017 Swine Week recipient, which works to help families who are affected by epilepsy in their daily lives.

“We could not believe we had been chosen,” head of the foundation Lee Anne Stone said. “Tears of joy were streaming down our faces.”

Epilepsy is a neurological condition marked by a recurrence of seizures. There are more than 40 different types of seizures and they can look extremely different from one person to the next. Epilepsy is a lifelong battle with no clear path to a cure.

The foundation was officially formed after the Stone’s son, Isaiah passed away. His death was labeled as a sudden unexplained death of someone seemingly healthy from epilepsy, otherwise known as “SUDEP.”

After his death, the family began hosting “The Isaiah Stone Epilepsy Lecture Series” the OU Children’s Hospital. The development of the lecture series led the Stone family to create a foundation.

“The Isaiah Stone Foundation raises money to distribute to Oklahomans affected by epilepsy,” Stone said. “We give out grants to help with hospital bills, pay for genetic testing which can diagnose what type of epilepsy one has, helping find the correct medication, gas money to help patients get to their appointments, SAMI Sleep monitors (monitors that detect seizures while sleeping and alerts the parents in the night), GAIT trainers (tools to help with motor skills like walking, crawling and sitting), etc.”

Two of the 2017 Swine Week chairs, junior Anna Hall and senior Sarah McPhail, are just as excited as the Stone family for the selection. Fifty foundations applied to be the recipient of Swine Week, but Isaiah Stone stood out the most.

“I loved hearing the Isaiah Stone foundation’s story and how passionate they were for the subject they want to raise money for,” McPhail said. “Their speech made everyone excited for Swine Week even though it is still months away.”

Before deciding which foundation will be the recipient, StuCo has each foundation come in and present their plan. The Isaiah Stone foundation was very prepared for their presentation to StuCo.

“I think that one thing that stood out to me about the Isaiah Stone foundation was that they are such a small organization and the Stone’s had such a detailed plan for what they would do with the swine week money,” Hall said.

After coming in and presenting to StuCo a few weeks ago, the foundation was called back.

“We thought we were coming in to answer more questions about the foundation,” Stone said. “When we walked in, everyone was singing and yelling and there were congratulations signs and balloons; we all just started crying and smiling from ear to ear.”

Not only are the foundation heads and the Swine Week chairs excited for Swine Week, but so is the entire Memorial student body.

“It truly is an honor and a blessing to be chosen and we will try our best to make Swine Week proud,” Stone said.