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Fighting Back - My battle with epilepsy.

By Gabriella Brusatto

At a very young age, I was so intrigued with sports and, around the age of five, I was very drawn towards boxing. I wanted to learn how to fight. My dad would show me how to make a fist correctly to throw a punch. My dad had told me, “You never start a fight, but you can finish it.” It stuck with me. Little did I know that the longest fight of my life was just a few years away.

My name is Gabriella Brusatto, and my fight with epilepsy began in the summer of 1993. Each year is another round and, like boxing, some rounds have harder hits than others and some have knockouts. I am into my 23rd round and still going. Unfortunately, with the heavy blows and a few knockouts, that ‘normal’ little girl before my first seizure is gone. That summer’s day was the start of a new norm, the only one I would come to know and remember. My first tonic-clonic seizure occurred shortly after the 4th of July. When I finally became coherent, I saw my family with a look on all of their faces that cannot be forgotten. I was recorded by my parents and watching the video playback changed my outlook on life.