abby's story

On September 23, 2016, my life changed forever. It was my freshmen year of college and I was waking up from a nap to head to soccer practice. I remember standing up and reaching for my water bottle and next thing I know I’m in an ambulance with all kinds of wires and tubes connected to me. I remember the guy in the ambulance with me telling me I had a seizure and I was so so confused. Within the next 2 days, the doctors told me I was diagnosed with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. Luckily, since then my seizures have been controlled relatively well with medication and changes in my lifestyle. I can’t stay up all night like most kids my age. I can’t wake up super early for classes or soccer without having “morning jerks” that lead to a grand mal seizure. I can’t concentrate too hard on schoolwork or I’ll start shaking and scare myself. I can’t go to bed stressed out or upset without waking up shaking. I’ve found so many new things that trigger my seizures and I’ve had to change so many ways of doing things in my life.

Though it has been hard and sometimes I think “why me”, I know so many people struggle so much more than I do and the respect I have for others living with this condition is beyond words. I’ve learned so much about epilepsy over the past 4 years and how many components come along with the disease. Epilepsy is not just a seizure; it’s having family members constantly texting you at school to make sure you’re okay.. it’s the terrifying feeling of having no control the second before you go into a seizure... it’s the vomiting and feeling of complete exhaustion after a seizure.. it’s the feeling of being embarrassed when you have to tell someone that you may have a seizure and how for them to deal with it.... and lastly, it’s the fear that you won’t wake up after a seizure. Having epilepsy isn’t easy, but I promise you  any person you meet battling epilepsy will be one of the strongest people you’ll meet.

I am raising funds to make a difference in the lives of people living with epilepsy, including myself. The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.