This Is Epilepsy

Everyday Heroes

  • Managing Epilepsy Surgery with a Michigan State of Mind

    November 14, 2019 by

    If there’s something worth laughing about, Kathryn Hopcian will find it. The 27-year-old has been laughing through the pain for as long as she can remember. Even now, recovering from epilepsy surgery, she’s laughing. “It takes a lot to get me down,” she says. “This experience has shown me that even when I’m faced with… Read more

  • Model Gordonnay Gaines advocating for people epilepsy

    When Battling Epilepsy, ‘You Have to Save Your Own Life’

    September 16, 2019 by

    The banging came in frantic blasts, each more desperate than the last. Soles slamming against wood until it splintered, the man’s shouts growing shriller by the second. It was the sound of a distraught father kicking in the bathroom door. So loud was the commotion, it woke everyone in the house. But 20-year-old Gordonnay Gaines… Read more

  • How Kayak for a Cause Led to a Strong Foundation

    September 4, 2019 by

    For nearly 20 years Kara’s confidence had lived in the cellar, thrust ever downward by the torrent of tonic-clonic seizures that struck at 13. After a lifetime of hiding in dank corners, Kara climbed bravely, fiercely into the light. It was 2013. Her grandpa, so beloved, had died. Kara sought to make him proud. “I needed to… Read more

  • Sara Kennedy received her epilepsy diagnosis at age 30. Getting used to adult epilepsy has been a process, she says.

    Adult Onset Epilepsy: A Life Changed

    August 20, 2019 by

    The diagnosis hit in mid-May, casting a shadow over the spring like the long winter had never ended. Thirty years old, the doctorate in full swing, and then. They came out of nowhere. Two tonic-clonic seizures three weeks apart. The first in the shower, the second in an Indiana Cracker Barrel. What do you do… Read more

  • Antonia has suffered from absence seizures since age 9.

    Shattering Epilepsy Stereotypes One Bath Bomb at a Time

    August 15, 2019 by

    In 2011, while Prince William and Kate Middleton were tying the knot in a wedding for the ages, 16-year-old Antonia Laviolette was having her first tonic-clonic seizure. She almost didn’t live to see another day. “I stopped breathing,” Laviolette says. “My mom shouted, ‘It’s not your time to go!’ That brought me back to life.”… Read more

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