My name is Zachary Murallo. I’m 19 years old and living with epilepsy. I was 2 years old when I had my first complex partial seizure and it was hard because at that time I didn’t know what was going on. I was really little but when I started to get older it affected my life because it was frustrating at times. If I was in class and I begin to have a seizure my friends didn’t know what was going on so I’d have to tell my teachers that I have seizures and if there was a problem they would have to bring me to the nurse. That’s why I needed an aid during my elementary and middle school years and to help me understand my class work.
So the years went on and I’ve had a very supportive family that helped me through it. Especially my grandparents. They’ve been there for me when I needed them and they’ve helped me through it all. My parents have always given me wisdom and strength, to not let this disorder get in my way. They tell me live my life. They will always be there for me.
My sister is a big part of my life and she has helped me through a lot. She has always been there for me when I needed her. She’s given me great advice through out the years but she has always told me to never give up and even though I have this disorder it shouldn’t stop me from doing anything. I have epilepsy and that didn’t stop me from playing soccer and swimming for my high school, because I was glad to be part of a team because it gave me a self pride, accomplishment and achievement. The practices were hard, I worked very hard and I tried my best everyday and I never gave up! All of the coaches and team players were very supportive. They were always trying to help me succeed.
As I was in my last year of high school I did a lot of things well. I was running for senior class vice president, giving blood which was great because it gave me a sense of pride. I also help package food for Haiti which I had super fun doing it because I took the time to give back to Haiti. I’ve also worked over the summer at the Mystic YMCA as a camp counselor to make sure kids have a great summer and now I work for TJ MAXX doing tagging and hanging clothes.
I’ve also met people that have the same condition and they’ve helped me through it. They are a wonderful group of people because they understand what I went through and they are very supportive, encouraging and motivating and this group is called the Shoreline Shakers. They are great and just like family. So I think what it means to have epilepsy is even though I’ve had seizures it hasn’t changed who I am as a person and I’ve realized that it won’t change anything in my life because I thank god every day that he’s in my life. So that’s my life experience living with epilepsy and realizing that it doesn’t matter what kind of disorder or other problems that you have as long as you believe in yourself and keep pushing on with your life and follow your dreams.