Shining Stars

Shining Star Logo

All children are special, but we believe that children with epilepsy are Shining Stars! 

This program connects youth and teens with epilepsy from across Minnesota and encourages them to reach for the stars. All youth ages 17 and under are invited to become a Shining Star and join us with their family for special events throughout the year.

A large group of children with epilepsy and their families, in front of a screen showing the Shining Stars logo.
Photo of two people sitting in stadium seats looking at the camera and smiling.

The Shining Stars program seeks to address the feelings of isolation and difference that can often accompany an epilepsy diagnosis, especially at a young age. We help children connect with others who are facing similar challenges and seek to empower them to embrace their differences and continually strive to meet their fullest potential.

We recognize that epilepsy affects the entire family. In addition to opportunities for children with epilepsy, the Shining Stars program offers parents a chance to connect with each other. We also publish a quarterly e-newsletter with information and resources specific to parents of children with epilepsy.

All new Shining Stars will receive:

  • Shining Star Medallion
  • Program Certificate
  • Special Event Invitations
Thriving with Epilepsy

Meet Thomas Putnam

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.

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

Ways to create awareness in your local community include:

  • Create a PowerPoint presentation about your journey and share it with your class
  • Write an article about epilepsy and submit it to your local or school newspaper
  • Organize a local awareness event or fundraiser
  • Educate your friends, teachers, and neighbors using EFMN’s brochures & resources
  • Participate in the annual Rise Above Seizures Walk
  • Organize a clothing drive at your school or in your community (pick-ups available in our service area)
  • “Speak Up” and share your story in November (National Epilepsy Awareness Month)
  • Request a FREE seizure training; staff from EFMN can educate your teachers and fellow students
  • Request a classroom kit filled with information & activities for your classroom
A group of kids in brightly colored tshirts stand together hold up their index fingers to indicate "one."
An older child shows a craft to a group of younger children.

View Upcoming Events

View all events

01

Jun

Prior Lake Adult Cleary Lake Park Picnic

Come together with other adults living with epilepsy to enjoy the fresh summer weather with a picnic at Cleary Lake Regional Park. Dinner will be provided at no charge for those living with epilepsy and guests are welcome to attend for $10 per person. Payment will be taken at the

02

Jun

Mankato Adult Event: Disc Golf

Come together with other adults living with epilepsy to enjoy some sunshine while playing a few rounds of Disc Golf at Land Of Memories Disc Golf. If you have questions, please contact Southern Minnesota Regional Outreach Manager Martin Hernandez at mhernandez@efmn.org or 507.287.2103.

02

Jun

Open to All-Bemidji Meetup: Sculpture Walk

Connect with others impacted by epilepsy and enjoy a fun walk around downtown, view the amazing artwork, and we’ll stop at Big River Scoop Ice Cream for a sweet treat right across from Paul and Babe! Meet at Tourist Information Center, 300 Bemidji Ave. N at 6:30 PM. If you

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Camps for youth with epilepsy

EFMN offers summer camp programs for youth of all abilities, with the security of trained medical staff.

Camp Programs