I was diagnosed with epilepsy at seven years old. I have been in and out of hospitals growing up and on more medications than I remember. I was on the ketogenic diet twice (FYI hotdogs filled with butter are nasty). I had brain surgery in high school and got meningitis. I now have a Master’s Degree in elementary education, an a certified teacher, and work as a paraprofessional at a local school. I also lead a support group for kids and teens with epilepsy. My life definitely would have been easier not having epilepsy, but I also wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t have met Miss America in the hospital and been in the hospital newspaper. I wouldn’t have missed a year of gym class-and 10th grade is the mile run so that almost made up for having my head shaved! I try to look for the positive even if it doesn’t look like there is any. For example I don’t drive, however I don’t pay for gas or car insurance either. My family and friends have always been very supportive. As a kid I never wanted to be treated differently. I didn’t think of myself as having epilepsy (maybe because then no one knew what it was). I just told people I “have seizures”. To this day it still surprises me when people know what epilepsy is. I walk to raise awareness about epilepsy and to raise money towards finding a cure.