Brush for freedom

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May 21, 2021

Brush for freedom (BFF) is a human healthcare Socialization initiative of HI-Eisai Philippines in partnership with Child Neuro Science Center of Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC). Key partners from PCMC shared that painting or art may help epilepsy patients to be more expressive and motivated, connect to people and develop a sense of self-worth. This became the inspiration of BFF, and to incorporate awareness and education in this hhc activity, the initiative was held during the National Epilepsy awareness week in the Philippines on September 7, 2018.


BFF brought forth a wide range emotions from the patients, families, HI-Eisai Philippines employees and key partners for this program. There was extreme excitement from more than 40 patients with their families in knowing that new experience would be built and explored. There was also excitement from HI-Eisai Philippines employees hoping to have a meaningful socialization activity. Additionally, there was excitement from our key partners towards this initiative in celebration of National Epilepsy Awareness Week in the Philippines.


BFF Partners
Patients and their Families, HI-Eisai Philippines, PCMC, and PCSO

In accordance with our hhc Philosophy, BFF aims to better understand the true needs of patients with Epilepsy. HI-Eisai Philippines facilitated a painting session with the help of an art studio called Sip and Gogh to capture deeper insights on patients’ fears, hopes and dreams. Sharing of patients’ stories through painting has created colorful masterpieces that represent their journey of battling epilepsy which ultimately sparked hope to live freely with Epilepsy. 


This HOPE is further boosted by key speakers from PCMC Medical Services Department Manager, namely Dr. Sonia Gonzales as she gave words of encouragement to patients and families. This was followed by a lecture, “Managing Epilepsy and Mental Health Law” by Former President of Philippine League Against Epilepsy (PLAE) Dr. Mel Michel Villaluz. Lastly, Ms. Diane Hofileña, a social worker for Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), discussed the process and requirements needed to avail assistance from PCSO.


The event closed with a party for the child patients in collaboration with Jollibee, a well-loved fast food chain in the Philippines which is appealing to children. The patients played memory games which were designed to enhance intellectual skills help them enjoy this wonderful moment together. This camaraderie was another way for all participants to appreciate and be optimistic towards the potential for seizure freedom!


During the Externalization portion, HI-Eisai Philippines employees learned that common pains of the patients include unpredictable seizures, bullying probably caused by lack of education about epilepsy, lack of support from the community, financial problems, and frustration as some patients cannot play and want to live a normal life.


These realizations led the team to the Combination phase, wherein there was collaboration with our key partners that resulted in a 3-part strategy consisting of the Living Free with Epilepsy Diary, Patient Access Program, and Community Building.


Living Free with Epilepsy is HI-Eisai Philippines’ first seizure diary. Input from patients and doctors such as seizure monitoring, medication schedule, healthy diet planning and emergency guidance, to name a few, were incorporated into this diary in partnership with marketing members. The cover page used is a painting of one of the patients who participated in the Brush for Freedom activity. The Patient Access Program is facilitated through PCSO- a government institution providing financial support for the patients covering 1 month of free medication. Lastly, regarding Community Building and Awareness thru hhc activity, HI-Eisai Philippines agreed to sponsor 2 provincial awareness campaigns and lectures for FY2019. These awareness campaigns happened in Davao City and Baguio City with prominent health care practitioners such as Dr. Agbisit and Dr. Trajano. They both provided lectures about epilepsy and proper patient care. To further these strategies and to build sustainability,  HI-Eisai Philippines established a stronger partnership with neurology institutions and societies — PCMC, PLAE, CNSP, and PGH. Also, the BFF Program and Video are showcased in HI-Eisai marketing events like PH Pulse and BRAINS Summit which are stand-alone Continuing Medical Education events.
Brush for Freedom is just a start of this campaign, and we are committed to pursue more initiatives and ensure that we become instruments to increase the quality of life of patients with epilepsy and ultimately achieve seizure freedom!