In the Summer of 2011, the Samarawickrama
Family met Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, the Director at Stanford Center for Narcolepsy who started the treatment for their newly diagnosed child. Their realization of the rareness of this disorder and the lack of research funds to help facilitate treatment and a cure, gave spark to the idea to start a fundraiser.
That year, Anne and Prasanna put their fundraising efforts into an activity that they love to do, hosting Sri Lankan dinners at their home for friends and family. The Sri Lankan cuisine is known to be spicy and flavorful with many vegetable and meat curries. The Samarawickrama family also auction weekend stays at a cabin in the Cascade mountains. The first-year fundraiser raised close to $20,000. The Seattle Giving Campaign is enhanced by donors who request corporate matching. A significant portion of the donors are at Microsoft.
Anne joined the Wake Up Narcolepsy (WUN) team six years ago in 2015. The nonprofit is dedicated to driving narcolepsy awareness, education and helping raise funds towards improved treatments and a cure.
Their Seattle community has helped to bring much success to these campaigns. Family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues donate valuable items (wine, art, jewelry, event tickets, outdoor excursions) and volunteer their time and efforts to assist in every capacity. Their continued support is invaluable.
The dinner that took place in February 2018 was the highlight of these campaigns as it was attended by Dr. Mignot, and WUN’s Executive Director, Claire Crisp. The following day, Dr. Mignot took part in the “Seattle Sleep Discussion Forum.”
In the last 11 years, over $300,000 non-restricted grants were given to Stanford Center for Narcolepsy, either directly or through Wake Up Narcolepsy. Anne and Prasanna take seriously the need to take action and to help all people with narcolepsy. They are grateful for the generosity and compassion of their supporters. They hope to continue their work for many more years.