Local Businessman Dedicated To Epilepsy Foundation
On the surface, Mike Hoffman seems like an ordinary guy. Born and raised in the Albany area, Hoffman attended Clarkson University and is now President of Turf Hotels. He has always been a hard worker, determined not to begin a new project until the current one is finished to the highest level of perfection; his commitment to work has enabled Turf Hotels to expand and thrive. What sets Hoffman apart, though, is his dedication to his family and his passion for one charitable cause in particular: The Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York.
Hoffman's connection to The Epilepsy Foundation began after tragedy struck his family in 2007. The younger of his two grandsons, Jake, was diagnosed with epilepsy at only 8 1/2 months old after suffering a continuous seizure that landed him in Boston Children's Hospital for 117 days. While Jake was eventually released and returned home, the seizure had completely reversed all of the milestones he had achieved.
Hoffman participated in the Epilepsy Golf Tournament later that year to help raise money for and awareness about the condition that struck his grandson. At the Tournament, he met the Executive Director of the Foundation and six months later joined the Board of Directors. As with his work, Hoffman never does anything halfway. Shortly after joining the Board, he stepped up to Chair the Annual Golf Tournament, which continued to thrive under his direction. Through the Tournament and his involvement with the Foundation, Hoffman learned just how prevalent epilepsy is.
There are over a dozen potential causes, he reports, but in approximately 70% of cases the cause is unknown.
100% of the money from the Golf Tournament and the Epilepsy Foundation's other events stays right here in the community to provide services for individuals with epilepsy, their families, caregivers, and friends. Counseling, advocacy, in-home service coordination, and support groups are just a few of the ways the Epilepsy Foundation assists those who have been touched by the condition. The foundation also offers in-service training for employees, including school personnel and bus drivers, so they are prepared in the event that someone suffers a seizure on their watch. "Since epilepsy can strike anyone, at any age, at any time," Hoffman says, "it's important for all people to know appropriate first aid for seizures."
While treatment options are becoming more abundant with advances in medicine, there are still a large number of individuals suffering from epilepsy in this area. Thanks to the dedication of Mike Hoffman and others, strides are being made to eradicate the condition and ease the pain of families stricken by epilepsy. Even small monetary donations to foundations can help individuals get the treatment and education they need. If you would like to assist The Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York, contributions can be made online or mailed to: Epilepsy Foundation of NENY, 3 Washington Square, Albany, NY 12205.
Editor's Note: Mike Hoffman's grandson, Jake, passed away in December 2010 after a courageous battle with epilepsy. Jake's parents, Heather and Brian, have established Jake's Help From Heaven, a charitable organization, in his honor. The primary purpose of Jake's Help From Heaven is to provide grants, financial assistance, and non-medical support for children and their families who have been impacted by debilitating illnesses. If you would like to contribute to Jake's Help From Heaven, you may make a donation online.
Additionally, the annual Epilepsy Foundation Golf Tournament has been re-named the Jake Straughter Memorial Golf Tournament for Epilepsy in Jake's honor.