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EFCO Ambassador Hannah’s Story

I have epilepsy. I’ve uttered this statement many, many times since my diagnoses in 2004, and it always fills me with a sense of pride.

Until recently, the story of my epilepsy had always consisted of my first seizure and how I was forced to adapt to this new way of life. My epilepsy represented the enormous change that, overnight, had occurred in my life.

Now, thinking of my epilepsy makes me think of my accomplishments. This “disorder” has led me to choose a career path, presented me with opportunities I would have otherwise never experienced, and introduced me to some of the greatest friends I will ever know

Through the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado, I have developed a passion for advocacy and education - invaluable tools in the battle for epilepsy awareness.

By teaching me the ins and outs of seizures and seizure first aid, EFCO has made me a more independent and self-aware individual. I can’t express how much more secure I feel being able to differentiate the onset of a seizure versus hunger or exhaustion. With its many programs, the Epilepsy Foundation has given me the tools I need not to worry about my epilepsy, and to know that no matter what I’ll always have a place where I belong.

Many of our communities are not aware that November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month (NEAM), which is why we all have such a great responsibility to spread the word. Make a shirt, raise some funds, wear a ribbon! There is a myriad of ways to bring awareness to your community, and you can feel free to contact www.epilepsycolorado.org for more ideas.

To quote my good friend Brittany Luedeke, “I have epilepsy, epilepsy doesn’t have me.” If I were to take one lesson from my journey it would be that once you come to terms with and embrace yourself, epilepsy will empower you - and not the other way around.

If you'd like to find out more about the Epilepsy Foundation’s programs, services, or how to get involved, I encourage you to visit EFCO’s website at www.epilepsycolorado.org

- Hannah

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