I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 9 years old, when I found this out people such as family, friends and school were concerned. They all wondered if my condition would limit what I was capable of.
I was advised to leave swimming even though I was close to achieve my golden award, my mum said she would be more comfortable if I had my friends round instead of going out with them and school wondered if my epilepsy would slow me down. This just got me down especially when kids at my school kept asking questions like 'why do you have it?' it was only when a boy that had always targeted me said 'now that you have epilepsy you can't do what the rest of us can do, because you have to be more careful.' From that moment I was determined to show people nothing had changed.
Just because I had idiopathic epilepsy it doesn't mean I'm any different and just because the reason I have epilepsy is uncertain it doesn't mean that my life and future is. I got my seizures under control and have achieved the many things people thought I wouldn't be able to. I got my gold award in swimming, I was promoted to black belt at 13 and am now a 2nd dan black belt in tang soo do, I'm hopefully going to become a qualified dance teacher this summer.
There was also the concern if my education would be affected by my epilepsy when it hasn't, many people believed that it would hold me back especially the boy who kept trying to pull me down. but again they just making these assumptions too early. I left school with 14 GCSE's 5 A*'s and 9 A's and I am now doing A levels predicted to get AAB with an unconditional offer for the University of York to study English in Education in the hope of becoming a primary teacher or a speech therapist.
My motivation was never to prove that I could do all these things even with epilepsy, my motivation was be the best I can be. I stand by the phrase 'I have epilepsy, epilepsy does not have me.' My only goal that was linked to epilepsy was my motivation to let people know about the condition at school and college and hopefully at university when I go I made people more aware of the condition, differed facts from myths such as epileptics can't drive e.g. i have my drivers license after passing first time and letting people know what they can do to help epileptics e.g. knowing the recovery position.
Epilepsy Action was there when I needed them and spreading the message of epilepsy is my way of saying thank you. The boy that always tried to put me down is now one of e-actions biggest supporters, hopefully proving that epilepsy is not a label or a description of who somebody is, it's medical condition nothing more. if people are more aware the less epilepsy will take over peoples lives.
I'm excited to live the rest of my life with epilepsy not stopping me from achieving anything.