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. 

austin standing outside with his hands in his pocket

Austin Thomas – Connecting Through Comorbidities

- Thriving with Epilepsy

No two epilepsy journeys are the same. Especially when it occurs with another medical condition, like it does for Austin Thomas. Austin has lived most of his 22 years with autism, but seizures became part of his life at 17 years old when he was diagnosed with epilepsy. “Austin faces

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man running through balloon arch excited

United In Epilepsy Walk Community – Thriving Together

- Epilepsy Walk Thriving with Epilepsy

Beginning on September 1 in Fargo/Moorhead, and finishing on October 2 in the Twin Cities, the epilepsy community unites to walk in solidarity with one another. After years of coming together to Rise Above Seizures, the Walk name changed in 2021 to the United In Epilepsy Regional Walks. With a

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large walk team posing for camera

Edelbrock Family – In Marcaylin’s Memory

- Thriving with Epilepsy

The Edelbrock’s became part of the epilepsy community in 2015 when at 18 months old, Marcaylin started having focal seizures. Unable to get her seizures under control, often causing Marcaylin to stop breathing, she passed away from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) in 2018. “We want people to know

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young girl being held up by horse

Meela Keobounpheng – The Roles of Caregivers

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Caregivers play many roles in the lives of loved ones. For parents who have a child with epilepsy, it ranges from giving medication to working with their school, and yes, taking rides down the “black hole” slide at Family Camp each summer. Meela Keobounpheng, along with her parents Talia and

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woman and husband with young child outdoors

Brette Garnatz – Managing Your Mental Health

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Brette Garnatz wants to talk about the things we’re too often quiet about. Her message to others with epilepsy is think about and be active in managing your mental health. To women with epilepsy, she shares her difficulties around having a child while managing seizures. Brette’s journey began when she

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teenage boy smiling at camera outside

Everett Forbes – Socializing & Gaining Independence

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Everett Forbes found a new way to make friends and socialize over the past year, despite the challenges of limited in-person events. He began attending virtual Teen Connect Groups in early 2020 and now finds the gatherings a regular part of his schedule where he gets to “do fun things”

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Adult male arm on semi truck smiling

Scott Buisman – Workplace Seizures & Employment Protections

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Scott Buisman has always been open about his epilepsy and absence seizures. He’s had seizures at work in the past and they’ve never been a problem. But a recent seizure caused him to fall and be knocked-out, leading to a hospital visit. With no major injuries he returned to work,

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adult male talking with adult female looking at him

Derrick Dawson – Medication, Memory, and Independence

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Derrick Dawson is a social person. When he lost his warehouse job in 2019, it meant less time with his friends and co-workers. When COVID forced us to bring organizational events online, it meant he wouldn’t be able to attend the in-person events he enjoys, like Studio-E Art Sessions, Connect

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three women smiling at camera at fundraising walk event

Kyah Altiere – Advocate For Yourself and Others

- Thriving with Epilepsy

Advocacy can be done in many ways, in many places, and for many reasons. Kyah Altiere has made advocacy an important part of her life since the time she was prescribed toxic levels of her anti-seizure medication. This is when she became an advocate for herself, which transitioned into her

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Two adult parents with their five kids all boys

Allen Bauer Jr – With Challenges Come Victories

- Thriving with Epilepsy

The Bauer family includes parents Jenny and Allen, as well as five boys who range in age. The youngest is Allen Jr, who developed epilepsy after severe head trauma at the age of six. The entire Bauer family supports Allen Jr, and his victories are family victories.

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