My name is Henry Laudano. I'm sharing my story so that others know they are not alone in this fight against epilepsy. I’m in high school and have a younger sister, Emmie, who’s in middle school — she was diagnosed with epilepsy four years ago. We both play sports and study hard in school. Although my sister has only had a few seizures, school is very challenging for her, and my family is doing our best to help her.
We also strive to help others with epilepsy who may be in harder circumstances than us. Our goal is to spread awareness so that it’s easier to be open about this condition. When my sister was diagnosed, epilepsy was completely new to me. I had never seen a seizure before and was completely ignorant of Emmie's new condition. The biggest challenge for me was understanding how to keep her safe.
I learned seizure first aid and how to use monitors and watches. Now I’m confident that I can help Emmie, even though I am still in high school. I would say have hope that your current situation will get better. It takes time to find the right medicine and dosage and to feel better under the right conditions. Eventually, you’ll reach a new normal with family and friends. Some people diagnosed with epilepsy don’t like talking about it. So, it’s best to bring up the subject only when needed but care about that person's condition and safety always.
The Epilepsy Foundation has greatly helped with my knowledge of epilepsy. I am extremely grateful to be a part of the Epilepsy Ambassador Program, which has enabled me to give back to the epilepsy community and spread awareness about the condition in kids of all ages.