Thriving with Epilepsy: Kevin Reed
Kevin Reed is an active EFMN volunteer who will be participating in his eighth EFMN Creative Arts Showcase this November. He was diagnosed with epilepsy after suffering three tonic-clonic seizures during college and has since used his passion for photography to show others that living with epilepsy doesn’t have to be a barrier to reaching your goals and dreams.
Kevin Reed uses his camera to tell stories and create connections. He enjoys searching through nature and playing with natural light to create artistic shots, as well as shooting well-known urban areas that people can connect with, such as the Minnesota State Fair. Photography has been a passion of his since he received his first camera in 2009, and now he rarely leaves home without one. For Kevin, being a photographer represents a dream achieved – despite challenges that threatened to hold him back along the way.
In 1995 Kevin was attending Minneapolis Community and Technical College when he experienced two tonic-clonic seizures back-to-back, and then a third while in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. At the hospital, he learned his seizures were caused by calcification on his brain and was diagnosed with epilepsy.
After his diagnosis, Kevin reached out to EFMN for help understanding the diagnosis and to get basic information about epilepsy and seizures. He then started attending Connect Groups where he met others with epilepsy and learned about their experiences.
“Anyone who gets diagnosed with epilepsy should contact EFMN, or just go in and talk to someone, they’re more than happy to help. You can talk about what you’re going through with people who deal with epilepsy on a daily basis,” said Kevin.
Now, 22 years later, Kevin is still an active member of the EFMN community; he attends Connect Groups, volunteers at the State Fair, and participates in EFMN’s annual Day at the Capital to act as an advocate and “be the voice of the epilepsy community.” Every year he submits both written works and photographs to the Creative Arts program, with this November marking the eighth Creative Arts Showcase that’s featured his artwork.
Kevin’s interest in photography was sparked when he visited the Minneapolis Institute of Art and saw a collection of photographs from New York City. He’s since spent the majority of his time taking photos of nature as it allows him the time to think and be more creative with his work. He enjoys complimenting his visual pieces with a written description of the area, inserting information he learns during his research both before and after the shoot.
The motivation behind sharing his photography is to show others that if he can achieve his goals and dreams, so can they. “The entire EFMN organization has been the foundation of my success, allowing me to show people living with epilepsy that it is not a barrier to reaching their goals in life,” said Kevin.
See more of Kevin's photography at the Creative Arts Showcase on November 19!
The annual Creative Arts Showcase will be held on November 19, 2017 at the Aster Café in Minneapolis. See first-hand the talents of performers, artists, and writers with epilepsy. We’ll be showcasing new pieces of artwork created this year, as well as pieces from years past. This free, family-friendly event is an open house with appetizers and refreshments. RSVP encouraged to firstname.lastname@example.org.