Managing Epilepsy Surgery with a Michigan State of Mind

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 […]

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

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 […]

How Kayak for a Cause Led to a Strong Foundation

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 […]

Jacqueline and Cody: The Unbreakable Bond Between People and Seizure Alert Dogs

Jacqueline Dinicola brings Cody with her everywhere. The red merle Australian shepherd is her lifeline. Dinicola, 23, of Anza, Calif., was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 4, after a tonic-clonic seizure on Independence Day. She came to the epilepsy service dog world by chance, seeking a playmate for her dog Lola. From the start, Cody […]

Adult Onset Epilepsy: A Life Changed

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. Sara Kennedy (left) with […]

Shattering Epilepsy Stereotypes One Bath Bomb at a Time

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.” […]

The Greatest Conquest

He crested the peak like it was the last thing standing between him and paradise. His feet so blistered he could barely walk, still he’d made the climb, every last step of it. From atop Draupadi Ka Danda II in northern India, Siddharth Singh Kasana peered down at the world 5,700 meters below, his heart […]

Sharon: ‘More than a Seizure Disorder’

“I have goals, but it’s difficult to achieve them,” Sharon says. The 42-year-old mother of three from the outskirts of London is a rarity. Twelve years of epilepsy and its treatment have dulled her memory, yet she remains painstakingly self-aware. She treasures her self-awareness as she would an heirloom. After all, she’s worked hard to […]

Tom: From Uncontrolled to Seizure-Free

Twenty-three years have passed since Tom’s last seizure. There was a time when such a span would have seemed just a dream to him. Now, he’s living it. “I don’t even think about seizures anymore,” he says. It’s a huge feat considering that for 21 years—from age 9 to age 30—Tom’s absence seizures were uncontrolled […]