Thank you for visiting my fundraising page for Epilepsy Foundation of Massachusetts/Rhode Island! Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts.
As many of you know, I am 17 years old, and I have been living with epilepsy for most of my life. For the first 12 years after my diagnosis, my parents and I have been on a journey of trying different medications to control my seizures. When we learned that medications alone would not work, and after enduring numerous hospital stays and testing, I had a vagus nerve stimulator implanted to see if that would help. When that still didn’t do enough to stop my seizures, I spent a week at Children’s Hospital in Boston when I was 14 years old, undergoing testing to see if I was a candidate for brain surgery. When we learned that I was not, we have just kept trying to move forward and do our best to manage my condition.
Up until this past spring, I had always had absence seizures, or brief staring spells, that usually lasted for several seconds. One early Saturday morning in March of this year, I had my first grand mal seizure. It lasted for a few minutes and then left me unconscious. I went to the hospital via ambulance, and was able to come home that night. I have had further testing done to rule out any other causes, but it seems that this is now a new addition to my seizure disorder. I have not let epilepsy slow me down, and I don’t plan to start now.
Like so many other families dealing with this condition, I want to help find a cure for epilepsy. I want to be able to get my driver’s license some day, to go away to college, to marry and have a family. In other words, I want the things for my future that most teenagers want. But the statistics are scary. Did you know that, according to an article in Newsweek dated April 20, 2009, seizures are as common as breast cancer, and take as many lives per year? Or that the mortality rate for people with seizure disorders is two to three times higher – and the risk of sudden death is 24 times as great – as that of the general population? Epilepsy affects more than three million Americans. Babies, kids, adults – seizures do not discriminate based on age or gender. That is what led me to the idea of the first Berkshire County Walk for Epilepsy – Looking Forward To A Cure. In order for this walk to be a success, my family and I need your support. The walk is to be held, rain or shine, on Saturday, September 26th at the Ashwillticook Rail Trail, beginning at Farnham’s Crossing in Cheshire. Please help me to make this a success by supporting my team, organizing one of your own, or sponsoring the Walk in some way.
Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too! Together, we can make our dream for a cure for epilepsy a reality.