The "Winning Kid" is a youth with epilepsy who is recognized as a leader in the epilepsy community and has shown committed to raising awareness for other youth with epilepsy.
A new winning kid is selected annually each summer. For a one-year term, they attend various EFMN-hosted events to share their story and help raise epilepsy awareness. They also travel to Washington D.C. with EFMN to participate in the national program Teens Speak Up! and to meet with their congressional representative about issues affecting youth with epilepsy.
To be eligible, winning kids need to be able to share their journey with epilepsy & be a leader to all youth. For more information, contact Nikki Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the 2018/2019 Winning Kid: Thomas Putnam
We are so happy to announce our 2018/2019 Winning Kid: Thomas Putnam. Thomas is 13 years old, in 8th grade and lives in Stillwater, MN. Thomas was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 11 months. Throughout that time Thomas was having active seizures along with mild developmental delay. After 9 years, Thomas was then diagnosed with SCN8A, a rare genetic mutation that causes seizures. Shortly after, Thomas's younger sister was also diagnosed with SCN8A as well. Although this diagnosis can be challenging, it has given them a name for what they are dealing with.
Despite his medical diagnosis, Thomas has lettered in adaptive soccer this past year along with being a part of the Stillwater High School swim team! Read a Pioneer Press article about his swim team here. Thomas has also participated in Special Olympics basketball and MN Special Hockey. Thomas's mom Rachelle describes Thomas as a quiet leader who is always positive and willing to help others. He is very kind and loving to everyone he meets. We can certainly attest to that!
Thomas along with his family have participated in the Shining Stars program along with other activities. Thomas will be kicking off our 2018 Rise Above Seizures Walk and will be featured at the upcoming Shining Star Celebration. EFMN is lucky to have such a positive role model for other youth with seizures and we are thrilled to be working with him and his family this upcoming year.