A Riverview resident is looking to the community to help raise funds and awareness.
Roni-Kay Lopez grew up in Brandon but is currently a Riverview resident. She was diagnosed as an infant with epilepsy and has had a lifelong battle with seizures and medication up until 2008.
“In 2008, after having a seizure while driving, I went through an extensive diagnostic testing series which led me to find out all my seizures were in one area of my brain,” Lopez said.
Lopez underwent a left temporal lobectomy in April of 2008, which started her drive and determination to make others aware of the opportunities available to help ease their lives with seizures and epilepsy.
To further this goal, she created Seize the Moment Foundation Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization designed to assist financial burdens that epileptic patients endure.
The foundation will host the first annual Que for a Cure on Friday and Saturday, September 16-17 at 6915 Riverview Dr. in Riverview.
“Over the last two years, I have met a lot of great people in the BBQ circuit because of my other half, Jim Elser, and have done several competitions with him,” Lopez said. “It is work, fun and family all in one. While talking to some of the BBQ family, I told them I might host a competition for my charity, and the outpour of support just overwhelmed me. So here we are, now getting ready for our first BBQ competition, Que for a Cure.”
Since this is Lopez’s first BBQ event, she is looking to the community for help and sponsorships.
“The community can help by sponsoring the event, donating funds or items for the auction and raffle,” Lopez said. “Also, coming out to participate, support and spreading the awareness about epilepsy and seizures by sharing stories too. Epilepsy affects more than 65 million people, and there is little awareness about it. That’s why I am here, to help and spread awareness.”