Anne and Prasanna Samarawickrama, after their struggles in diagnosing Narcolepsy in their child, came to the realization of the rareness of this disorder and the lack of research funds to help facilitate treatment and a cure. This sparked the idea to start an annual fundraiser. Their Narcolepsy advocacy has been tied closely to funding research for the Stanford Center for Narcolepsy and its Director, Dr. Emmanuel Mignot.
In 2015, Anne joined the board at Wake Up Narcolepsy and helped to carry on their mission. Since inception of the Seattle Giving Campaign, Prasanna was deeply involved in raising funds for research and formally joined the board in 2023.
Their main annual fundraiser involved auctioning and hosting a formal Sri Lankan dinner at their home. Sri Lankan cuisine is famous for its flavorful, spicy coconut-based curries. Their donors enjoy an elegant dinner with fabulous wine pairings provided by Thomas and Sue Bohn. Additional fundraisers include auctioning off various items, including mountain cabin weekends, donated excursions, activities, jewelry and artwork.
The first-year fundraiser, over a decade ago, raised close to $20,000. This year, their generous donors with corporate matching, helped to raise over $78,000. Since inception, over $500,000 in non-restricted grants have been given to Stanford Center for Narcolepsy, either directly or through Wake Up Narcolepsy.
Their Seattle community has helped to bring much success to these campaigns. Family, friends, neighbors and colleagues donate valuable items and volunteer their time and efforts to assist in every capacity. Their continued support is invaluable.
Anne and Prasanna take seriously the need to take action and help all people with Narcolepsy. They are grateful for the generosity and compassion of their supporters and the value of corporate matching. They hope to continue their work for many more years.