Epilepsy Patient Finalist in National Art Competition to Promote Brain Awareness Week

November 20, 2017 2:17 pm

Kailey Russell, patient at Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences, has a finalist entry in a national competition for artwork to promote Brain Awareness Week 2018.

Congratulations to Kailey Russell, 23, an epilepsy patient at the Hauenstein Center, who is a finalist in the 2018 Brain Awareness Week (BAW) sticker contest. The first-place design will represent Brain Awareness Week in March 2018 as the new art for the Brain Awareness Week sticker. BAW is the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.

According to Russell, her entry is a “modern take on the brain, with the brightened colors of the brain that would appeal to a variety of age groups,” and is one of only five entries up for public vote on the Brain Awareness Week website, open until November 30, 2017.



Kailey Russell’s entry for the Brain Awareness Week contest.



A Mercy Health patient since 2013, Russell has been participating in the monthly Art Therapy program for epilepsy for the past three years at Mercy Health. The Art Therapy Program grew out of Studio E Art Therapy Program, funded by the Epilepsy Foundation.

A talented artist and graphic designer by nature, Russell finds the art therapy group helpful to relate to others who may be undergoing the same issues she is facing.

“It’s been incredibly helpful, as much as my sister and boyfriend can be support for me, they just can’t understand everything I go through, where this art therapy group does,” Russell said. “It’s been nice to know that I am not alone.”


Kailey Russell with Bill, her boyfriend and emotional support dog, Shiloh.

Russell learned of the Brain Awareness Week sticker competition through Susan Woolner, CPXP, Neurosciences Patient Support & Community Partner Coordinator at Mercy Health. “She knows I have an interest in graphic design and in art and encouraged me to apply.”

Russell is excited about the competition. “It’s such an honor to even make it to this point. Using art has been incredibly helpful as you work through your problems and issues with having epilepsy.”

To vote on Russell’s entry, please click here>>

Everyone is invited to vote from November 7-30, and the top three designs will be announced on December 13.

Brain Awareness Week is celebrated locally at the Grand Rapids Public Museum each year. Partnering with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, clinical experts from Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences present a variety of topics to children about the importance of brain health, including:

Kailey Russell works on a holiday craft project in the Epilepsy Art Therapy Program. The program meets monthly, typically every fourth Friday afternoon at Mercy Health Hauenstein Center.

  • the need for sleep
  • strokes and
  • concussion awareness.


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