by Sandy Pollard, Epilepsy Foundation of Indiana President
March 26, 2013 was National Purple Day for Epilepsy and it was about to take me, as a member of the Epilepsy Foundation of Indiana, on a journey of the heart.
Our affiliate had been blessed to be able to launch our first Studio E art therapy program due to the generosity of Lundbeck and the encouragement of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. Our affiliate was having a “Paint for Purple” event that evening as a fundraiser, when I received an email from the mother of a young lady with epilepsy inviting me to their home for a “Purple Day” celebration. She also wanted our affiliate to receive some money that her daughter had raised from designing and selling epilepsy awareness t-shirts. Although I had planned to attend our painting event, something pulled me to say I would attend her party.
When I arrived, I was greeted by about 50 smiling faces of this young lady’s family and friends. They were so appreciative that the “president” came to the party. This young lady was struggling with being accepted at school after suffering a seizure in class. She was being subjected to so much bullying that she began suffering from depression and eventually withdrew from school. Her story struck a nerve with me and I invited her to participate in our Studio E program. Her face lit up and she told me that she loved art because it helped her express emotions. I could feel our bonding start to happen from that moment. The love and support of this family was overwhelming as was their desire to help the Epilepsy Foundation.
Michaela is a vibrant part of our Studio E program and her mother, Heather, has become a great advocate for our foundation. She will enroll in a new school in the fall and hopefully, she will feel more accepted and supported from her peers in the Studio E program. I am blessed and filled with hope for the future when I see her beautiful smile as she proudly shows me her project.Visit the Studio E section of Epilepsy.com for more information and to see if there is a program in your area.