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of everyone affected by epilepsy

Fran Turauskis

I had my first seizure about 7 years ago, when I was 21. I was in my last year of university, and it scared my flatmates and me. None of them had seen a seizure before, but luckily they did the right thing. The doctors put it down to a one-off perhaps due to stress.

After leaving uni, I spent some time working with children with special needs, some of whom had epilepsy. The training that I underwent for that job meant that when I started having more seizures - from one a year to 4 in a week - and I was finally diagnosed with it myself 2 years ago, my family and I were already quite well equipped to cope with it.

I was put on medication (Lamotrogine) which has stopped my seizures, and I am now over 2 years seizure free.

I was always very independent before my diagnosis - I travelled to New Zealand by myself when I was 18 - and this summer I wanted to do something by myself again that I wouldn't have been able to do if I was still having seizures. So I decided to walk the Norte route of the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

The final count? I've walked over 787km, or 490miles, and thanks to my medication I could do it by myself. I had many people calling me brave and strong, but I was just doing something that I wanted to do.

And what's more, I spoke about epilepsy with so many people from different countries whilst I was away - Spain, Portugal, US, UK, Germany, Lithuania, Austria, Peru, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Latvia to name a few - most of whom knew little about epilepsy and had many questions! And I hope each one will go back home and share their knowledge with others - and that I showed them that although epilepsy can be scary, we should not be scared of people with epilepsy, and people with epilepsy should not be scared to do great things!

Fran Turauskis
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