Living with Epilepsy

Tony Herreid of Epilepsy Foundation Northwest shared his story of having to learn to live with epilepsy.

" I had my first seizure in the middle of the cafeteria in the 4th grade.  It probably wasn't fully understood by my classmates or myself to say I felt casted out.  The fact that I needed different attention was still there though.  I'm 26 years old now and it wasn't until several months ago that I finally opened up more about it.  If I had a seizure at work or somewhere else, I didn't want to talk about it because I was embarrassed.  I don't know what I look like or exactly what I do when I have a seizure.  The biggest thing was realizing that I do have special cares and I don't want to be treated or treat myself any different than anyone else.  Another challenge is being able to venture off by myself.  It's hard to go places by myself for obvious reasons.  Not being able to drive is really hard.  To put it all in a nut shell- I'm jealous of others. One thing that really helps me is all the fitness training I do.  Good blood flow is very important for me because that is what carries my medication (which I've been taking most of my life) up to my brain.  If my kidneys go bad then I'm screwed.  I don't know a whole lot of the science behind it all though. One of the difficult parts is accepting that you have different needs."

Tony shared his story in order to help others not feel so different or alone and would like to encourage people to join the Northwest Run/Walk for Epilepsy that takes place at 9:30 am June 21st at Waterfront Park as part of Rose Festival. To register for the run/walk click here.

To learn more about epilepsy and how you can help click here.


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