To see my little boy suffer relentless seizures year after year and endure heinous drug side effects—all of which make him slip further and further from his potential—while knowing that so much more could be done in search of a cure, pains me to no end. It doesn't have to be this way if more people would simply choose not to avert their eyes, but instead to get off the sidelines, as so many have done for other causes, and use their power to incite change, promote understanding and spark compassion all in hope of finding a cure for epilepsy, which kills more American’s every year than breast cancer, including our children.
I often wonder if some people stand motionless because they think they don’t know anyone who has epilepsy or are somehow embarrassed by it. But the truth is that we all know someone who hurts from epilepsy, though so many hide it, which is one reason it doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. I aim to change that, but I can’t do it alone. If everyone could just step out of their own worlds for a moment and slip into someone else's shoes who has a loved one with epilepsy—live another life for a moment—perhaps they could find empathy.
Epilepsy is a misunderstood, underestimated, grossly under-funded, stigmatized and neglected disorder. In honor of epilepsy awareness month, I invite you to step into our shoes and encourage others to do the same by sharing Calvin’s story. Help bring us one step closer to a cure. It’s as easy as pushing a button.
|photo by Michael Kolster|