November: Epilepsy Awareness Month
November is a very special month for me and not because it is my birthday month! I will be 30 this year, more on that at later time :/
My daughter was diagnosed with Epilepsy on October 31, 2006. I remember that day like it was yesterday; I can’t believe that it has been 6 years. She was just 3 years old at the time, dressed in her little cowgirl costume for Halloween, as we sat there and listened to the doctor tell us.
She has been through so much more than most adults can fathom. She is developmentally delayed due to her Epilepsy. I hear people say “Oh, it is just a seizure” and I want to scream at them.
The longer it had been and the older I got, I realized something: people just don’t understand. They have no idea what is possible. They have no idea that:
- 1 in 20 children have Epilepsy.
- 65 million people in the world have Epilepsy.
- 150,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed every year.
- 1 in 10,000 newly diagnosed people will die from SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death in Epileptic Patients)
- Epilepsy ranks 3rd in Neurological Disorders.
- 1 in every 26 people will develop Epilepsy at some point in their life.
- Epilepsy does not discriminate.
- Almost half of Epilepsy patients are not able to gain control with medication.
They probably know someone who has Epilepsy and just don’t realize it!
So with that realization, I decided to quit being bitter, angry and asking why? I decided to step and do something. My family and I started supporting and educating people on the effects that Epilepsy can have. Every year we participate in a walk for Epilepsy in whatever state the Navy has stationed us. We have been doing this for three years.
Every year since we started we have met amazing people and been able to spread the word about something that means so much to us! We have been blessed to have so many friends and family who donate their time and money to sponsor us in our walks.
Each year since we began we have been the highest raising team in our specific walk. This year it was just the kids and me able to walk and we somehow managed to cross the finish line first! This was very exciting for us!
In conclusion, I am very much a believer that military families in general are natural-born givers. We give our time, lives, and hearts to so many things. We leave pieces of ourselves everywhere we go. Maybe some of us grow into this position or maybe it has been there all along we just needed that cause, that right moment to stand up and say ME, I am going to do that. Find something that touches your heart and dive in; you will not be sorry! Get the kids involved so that if your spouse can not be there with you, you still have a team!
When my kids see the purple clothes come out, they know it is Epilepsy Walk Day!!
Okay, now what are you waiting for? Get out there and get involved!!