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Category: Thriving with Epilepsy

The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota periodically features a “Thriving with Epilepsy” story about everyday heroes living with epilepsy in our community. 

Three photos showing campers doing arts and crafts, rocking climbing wall, and playing in water

Camp Oz – The Power of Friendship for Kids with Epilepsy

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Growing up with epilepsy is hard. It’s scary and isolating. Some know this first-hand, while others know it from raising a child with epilepsy. Parents and family members give much-needed support, but for kids with epilepsy, finding others who understand what they’re going through is important. This is the reason

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White male college student smiling in front of Hamline University sign

Josh Rahman – Being Part of Something Bigger

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Josh Rahman likes being part of things bigger than himself. He played football in high school and is now doing the same in college. He’s also working towards a degree in Criminal Justice so that he can help others, and has a drive to educate people about epilepsy and raise

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Husband, wife, son, daughter sitting on couch smiling

Olivia Devaraj – A Voice for the Epilepsy Community

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Olivia Devaraj’s path to advocating for the epilepsy community started before she attended the 2019 Epilepsy Advocacy Day at the Capitol. It even started before she officially reached out to the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota (EFMN). As a 7th grader, Olivia heard about an art therapy program that helped people

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9 year old boy outside holding Jason Gray music CD

Cody Semrow – Battling Epilepsy By Helping Others

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Cody Semrow is only nine years old, but his journey with epilepsy includes a misread MRI, multiple medication changes, unpredictable side effects, and, of course, seizures. However, it also includes a special friendship between Cody and his favorite musician, Jason Gray. This past summer the Semrow family organized a benefit

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Mom holding hands with 10 year old daughter at theme park

Ary Rodeghiero – Finding Support, Friends, and Fun

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Ary Rodeghiero hasn’t had a seizure since 2010 thanks to her medication. However, the medication has its side effects, which has caused her to undergo recent EEG testing to determine the best plan going forward. Although seizures don’t affect Ary’s everyday life, epilepsy does. “We got connected to EFMN by

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Blonde haired mom in a floral shirt smiles with her 12 year old son

Laura Roloff – The Power of Seizure First Aid

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Laura Roloff was diagnosed with epilepsy just one year ago. After meeting with doctors and learning how her life was about to change, she wasn’t sure how to tell her kids. Before she got that chance, Laura had a seizure at home, and her 11-year-old son Keyan was the only

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Two adult women smiling Rise Above Seizures Walk

Meet Danielle Ehresmann

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Danielle’s Story Danielle Ehresmann started having seizures at two years old but wasn’t officially diagnosed with epilepsy until she was five. Her two sisters were also diagnosed at five, meaning the three of them, all triplets, had the same three types of seizures. As she grew older her sisters’ seizures

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A family wearing brightly colored shirts groups together in their backyard for a team photo

Meet Leah Whitmore-Hunstock

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Team Leah is returning for their sixth Rise Above Seizures Walk and may just have their largest walk team yet. They all come together to support Leah, an 8-year-old with epilepsy who wants to be a chef, but in the meantime plays basketball, rides her bike with friends, and of course does some cooking and baking.

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An older man in a black zip-up sits in front of a picture window in his living room

Meet Bob Greer

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Change can come at any point in life, and for Bob Greer, there have been many moments of unexpected change. Shortly after getting married Bob was drafted into the Army, and more recently he was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 73. With no known cause for his recent seizures and diagnosis, Bob used EFMN’s Information Services and Connect Groups to learn about treatments and how others manage their epilepsy.

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A young man with blond hair in a UofM sweater stands next to his mom, smiling. The family resemblance is apparent.

Meet Thomas Putnam

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Thomas and Anna Putnam share a bond unlike any other brother and sister. They may just be the only non-twin siblings to have an SCN8A epilepsy diagnosis in the world. This rare form of epilepsy is due to a sodium channel disorder and affects the 14-year-old Thomas and 11-year-old Anna in similar ways.

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