A Reflection on My First 100 Days in the World of Epilepsy
By Heidi Fisher, EFMN Executive Director
As I complete my first 100 days as Executive Director at the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota (EFMN), I find myself humbled and energized. Since August, I have had the opportunity to meet with many members of our community – individuals who are living with epilepsy, and parents, family members, friends, and medical professionals who support them. Through these conversations, I have been humbled by their passion and commitment to make the world a better place for those living with epilepsy. I have also learned that while we are doing great work, we have opportunities to increase the depth and scope of what we do.
I am energized by our mission to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives. In the next year, EFMN will begin a strategic planning process that will define the direction of our organization in the coming years. The EFMN board and staff are committed to making this an innovative process that includes the vision and ideas of many contributors. We hope to answer the question, “How can we make EFMN the best resource for those impacted by epilepsy?” I welcome your input as we work towards becoming the resource organization of choice for those living with epilepsy.
At our recent Creative Arts Showcase in November, I witnessed and experienced art created by individuals living with epilepsy. I heard beautiful music, saw innovative creations, and experienced powerful personal stories told in a variety of ways. I acquired a “beastie” named Bambi created by Dom Colasanti; took a dive into Stacia Kalinoski’s personal journey with epilepsy in her documentary, Brainstorm; and carried with me the empowering words of Sarah DuCloux-Potter’s spoken word poetry. In her poem,Sarah shared her determination to not allow epilepsy to define her. Her words are a strong reminder to us that epilepsy may be something we live with, but it does not define our lives.
At this time of giving thanks, I am thankful for our EFMN family. So many people have graciously welcomed me into their lives – and for that, I must say “Thank you!” Your efforts to advance the EFMN mission through contribution and connection are noticed and appreciated.
As 2016 comes to a close, please consider supporting EFMN’s vital work – whether through a financial contribution, by connecting with our community, or by helping spread our mission. Information about how to make a contribution or connection is available on our website. Together, we can continue to help individuals in our community rise above seizures!
Heidi L. Fisher