Hi, my name is Aurora and I am a 14-years old. Up until August 2015, I had a typical life filled with hanging out with friends, dance lessons, biking, swimming and enjoying summers at our family cabin. In a blink all that changed, I had woken up on the floor surrounded by paramedics.
I was lucky I that I was with my family when I had my first seizure, so I was able to get help quick. Unfortunately however, I was an hour out of Regina meaning the fastest way of getting help was through STARS, a helicopter ambulance service. It wasn’t long after that I was diagnosed with Epilepsy, something I had never heard of before.
After my first grand mal seizure, I had many MRIs, EEGs, and trips to Saskatoon to see neurologists. Life isn’t the same. I now swim with a life jacket, I take medication twice a day. I’m asked to report back to my parents or older brother constantly, to make sure they know I am okay. Now, I know that I might not even be able to get my learners license, because there is a chance that I might have a seizure while driving. I've lost a lot of things because of epilepsy, and sometimes I don’t even feel like a kid anymore.
I was on a bunch of medications, trying to find the ones that worked for me. Unfortunately, that came with varying side effects. At one point, I was on a medication that caused chunks of my hair to fall out. It was incredibly hard telling people around me that I have epilepsy, but it was necessary because they needed to know what to do if I had a seizure. I felt that because of epilepsy people around me thought I was weird. This carried on for a long time and caused a bunch of personal issues, self-esteem problems, anxiety, and even depression.
Since being diagnosed with epilepsy I have read a lot about this disorder and feel it is important for people to know more about it. In elementary school, I organized a Purple Day, which is known as Epilepsy Awareness Day, to spread awareness. Recently, I found the Epilepsy Canada website and got the idea to fundraise to help people like me who are struggling with epilepsy and to help find a cure.
I walked the last 100 km of the Camino de Santiago with my family when I was nine years old and had a blast doing it. I'm truly excited about walking the Camino again this summer to raise money for epilepsy research. I hope you can join me.