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Stephanie was the first real friend I ever made. We walked to elementary school together, joined a jumping rope squad, and performed as little bon-bons in the nutcracker. Our families did holidays and vacationed together, and even though we went to college in different states, we grew up, but never apart. 

Steph became epileptic in high school, and never spoke much about her seizures, due to embarassment. Doctors ran many tests in the EMU to isolate the issue in her brain, but the seizures remained despite the recommended meds. She was hardly able to enjoy driving a car, due to not being seizure-free for at least 3 months. Cooincidently, after all these years, I was never around her when she had a seizure. 

Sometimes she would apologize for being so tired while hanging out with friends, without expressing she was recovering from a recent seizure. She was a quiet kind of champion. In her eyes, keeping her troubles to herself, and staying positive, helped her remain strong. Stephanie was extremely patient about her epilepsy. She never wanted to burden anyone by asking for favors; she figured, since it was an unseen illness, she could keep it hidden in fear of scaring people away. Truth is, people are only afraid of what they don't know.

Advocating for epilepsy awareness is just what this place needs. Not only to educate about disease, but to help those with epilepsy feel comfortable express what they are going through, without a deer-in-the-headlight reaction from people. 

Though Stephanie wound up losing her battle to epilepsy in 2013, there is hope for others through new research that's being developed every day to make it a thing of the past. I look forward to there being a cure for epilepsy in my lifetime, and little by little, walk by walk, we can make that happen. 

Please join me in helping raise awareness and funds to support the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona. Click the Donate Now button to donate directly to my fundraising efforts and help me reach my goal. On behalf of my amazing angel, Steph, we thank you!





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