The Epilepsy Foundation Blog

A family with two young children smile for a portrait in front of an ocean view

Meet Dr. Julia Valente

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Dr. Julia Valente was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 19 after more than five years of unknowingly experiencing seizures. Despite her challenges with epilepsy and its subsequent treatment, Julia persevered with her studies and graduated from medical school. She’s now a member of EFMN’s Board of Directors and is married with two young daughters. Julia’s husband, Gab Szerda, will be competing in the “Tor des Géants” race on September 10th, a 205-mile non-stop race in the Alps of Italy. Gab is using the race to raise funds in support of his wife. You can become part of Team Rise Above Epilepsy by donating to Team Rise.

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Portrait of EFMN's four Regional Coordinators

Meet Your Regional Coordinators!

- Thriving with Epilepsy

The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota has been serving the 60,000 people living with seizures in our community for over 60 years. Educating, connecting and empowering people affected by seizures, EFMN’s programs and services reach areas outside of the Twin Cities Metro area including the communities of Duluth, Fargo, Rochester, and St. Cloud.

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A mother leans in to get a kiss on the cheek from her daughter.

Meet Jacqui Mattson

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Seizures can strike at any moment. Imagine living your everyday life seizure-free, and then one day you are faced with a life-altering diagnosis. After receiving news that their daughter Jacqui was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 14, the Mattison family learned to cope with her seizures and find support through EFMN.

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A mother hugs her daughter in front of a rosebush.

Meet Julia Rennquist

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Misty and JP Rennquist’s daughter, Julia, was diagnosed with epilepsy three years ago. Although fully aware of her seizures, Julia is a rambunctious, funny and very sweet five-year-old. The Rennquist family found support through EFMN early on and celebrates Julia’s epilepsy journey every year at the Rise Above Seizures Walk.

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A man with a white beard and a baseball camp poses for the camera in front of camp greenery

Meet Steve Stoterau

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Steve has given generously to EFMN to ensure that kids with epilepsy experience the fun and friendships of a week at Camp Oz. Although Camp Oz was not available when Steve was diagnosed with epilepsy as a child, he now visits every year to experience the contagious joy of the campers.

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Close-up headshot of a middle-school aged boy smiling at the camera

Meet Griffin Walker

- Thriving with Epilepsy

This month, we would like to introduce you to one of our families from North Dakota. Meet Griffin Walker, a 14-year-old teenager living with epilepsy. He is a two-year veteran of EFMN’s Camp Oz program, a Shining Star member and strives to be his best while rising above seizures every day. Hear from his mother, Roxann, as she shares her son’s journey and the positive impact EFMN has made on Griffin’s life.

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A young woman wearing a hijab and glasses smiled at the camera by a tree

Meet Hafsa Yusuf

- Thriving with Epilepsy

We are pleased to introduce you to Hafsa Yusuf, a Winona State University freshman, an Elam Baer & Janis Clay Scholarship recipient, and Day Camp volunteer.

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A young woman in a professional blue blazer sites on a park bench smiling

Meet Taylor Johnson

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Meet Taylor Johnson: a recent Hamline University graduate, a former participant in EFMN’s Shining Star program, a dedicated epilepsy advocate, and one of Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota’s newest board members.

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Headshot of Lily Wong Kisiel.

Pediatric Epilepsy Syndromes

- Clinician's Corner

Pediatric Epilepsy Syndromes by Dr. Lily Wong-Kisiel, M.D., Mayo Clinic

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Headshot of Mithri Junna.

Sleep and Epilepsy

- Clinician's Corner

Sleep and Epilepsy by Dr. Mithri Junna, M.D., Mayo Clinic

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