I’m Jane. When I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2012, it was a condition I knew almost nothing about. Because of this I felt very embarrassed by my epilepsy and actually a little ashamed.
I was one of Scotland's top amateur golfers, with a dream of turning professional and competing on the Ladies European Tour. The next few months were difficult, I won't deny that, but with the support from my family, friends and consultants I pushed forwards without giving in to the “disease” that people told me I had. The next year I turned professional.
Speaking with the Epilepsy Action Helpline was what helped me to get past this horrible feeling. The people on the helpline helped me understand my epilepsy and the repercussions of it, especially regarding my driving licence.
I now play on the Ladies European Tour Access Series and in August 2017 I won the Bossey Ladies Open in France, my first professional win! I couldn't have been more proud as I stood there holding my trophy making my speech.
If, in 2012, someone had told me that despite my epilepsy I would still be able to follow my dreams and build a successful career as a professional golfer, I wouldn't have believed them... but, as it turns out, I can. If you have the belief, motivation and courage, and the support of those around you, don't let anyone else put limitations on you just because you have epilepsy. For many of us, having epilepsy doesn't mean we can't achieve our goals.
I think that a huge part of the general public are in the same boat today as I was in 2012 with very little knowledge about epilepsy. People don't realise that it is the most common serious neurological condition in the world. I believe that this is why Purple Day is so important, we need to raise awareness and need to achieve more funding so that these people can be supported in the same way that I've been.
For Purple Day this year, I want to talk about the life-changing work of the Epilepsy Action Helpline.
The Epilepsy Action helpline has helped me so many times over the last 6 years since I was diagnosed.
Your donation will mean the Epilepsy Action Helpline can be there on evenings and weekends to answer more calls, emails and Facebook messages from people with nowhere else to turn.