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I am Steffani, mother to Emma Pederson. I want to tell you a little about Emma's story.
Emma came into this world as a happy, strong, loving baby. As Emma was getting older I had concerns about her reaching her milestones. Emma was a late bloomer in most areas and I started to get very concerned when she wasn't talking much. After 4 years of local doctors making me feel like a hypochondriac, I demanded to have her seen at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. On our first visit in December 2008, Emma was diagnosed with Epilepsy. It was devastating news. My daughter had been living with seizures for who knows how long and nothing had been done about it. As her mother, I started researching everything I could possibly find about Epilepsy. Emma was started on a medication and it seemed to help some but the seizures were still there. So back to Mayo we go. After many trips and numerous MRI's, EEG's and developmental tests, Emma was diagnosed with Tassinari Syndrome (form of Epilepsy with language difficulties), ADHD, Iron deficiency, night terrors and a severe developmental delay. Emma has been on 3 different medications for her seizures, all have worked for a short time but her body gets immune to them and the seizures worsen. As of right now, Emma has 1 seizure an hour and she has clinical seizure activity in her brain all thru the night.
Emma has been dealt a trying card at such a young age. It is hard to believe that in her 6 years of life, she doesn't know what her life could be like if it was seizure free. Emma has grown up in doctors' offices and living on medications that have horrible side effects. Emma's home life is different than your average 6 year old. Emma needs to be monitored at all times. She can't walk down a flight of stairs alone, she can't ride her own bike, she takes medications twice a day, she has a paraprofessional with her at all times at school and is in multiple Special Education classes.
Now that I have told you about what is going on medically with Emma, let me tell you about who Emma is.
Emma is a vibrant, funny, caring, sweet, loving and energetic girl. She loves school and all of her peers and teachers. Emma loves her 2 dogs, cat and 3 fish. Her favorite activities are drawing, coloring, being read to by her brother, horseback riding, bike riding on the back of her mom's bike, walks, feeding birds, watching movies, snowmobiling, playing Guitar Hero, washing dishes, playing with friends, baking cookies with Nana, hanging out in the garage with Papa and Auntie, and she loves to support her Auntie when she races her car, camping, bon fires, smores and playing indoor and outdoor games.
Emma is living a life with Epilepsy, she has had many setbacks and road blocks in her life and she always looks for the happiness in any situation. We, as a family, have struggled with the diagnoses that Emma has and as a family have been trying to find an answer. We need to find out more about Epilepsy and how to better control it or cure it. Please support the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota to help them in continuing to do their research and help fund the fantastic services and education for Epilepsy.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about Emma and the cause. Let's go above and beyond our goal of $1000 and show Emma how much we support her and the cause!