David Axelrod is thinking about more than politics

June 7, 2012

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You know David Axelrod as one of the most successful political strategists of the last 25 years. He's worked for politicians from the late Sen. Paul Simon to President Barack Obama. He's currently the Senior Strategist for the Obama reelection campaign.

Axelrod's ideas about politics, politicians and government weren't shaped around a polished oak table. It was his childhood in New York City, his time at the University of Chicago, and his years as a journalist (the youngest City Hall Bureau Chief and political columnist in the history of the Chicago Tribune).

But perhaps the thing that you don't know about David Axelrod is the thing that actually has the greatest influence on his life and his worldview. David and his wife Susan have a daughter named Lauren. Lauren has epilepsy. The seizures that Lauren has suffered from her entire life have affected her cognitive skills. For years, the Axelrods did everything in their power to find the right doctors, the right procedures, the right combination of drugs to make the seizures go away, or at least happen less frequently. Despite the fact that, according to the Epilepsy Foundation, 3 million Americans and 50 million people worldwide suffer from epilepsy, David and Susan believe that not enough information was out there for families like theirs, and enough research was being done to bring relief to those who suffer from epilepsy.

So in 1998, they helped create CURE, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy. To date, CURE has raised $18 million for research, to raise awareness of the disease, and provided help and support to families. On June 15th, CURE is holding its annual Chicago Benefit . So when you see David Axelrod on television this weekend talking about the reasons voters should give President Obama a second term, know that he's also thinking about his family, and how CURE could help bring relief to millions of families like his.