Share Your Seizure Story: CJ

Advocating for Epilepsy in Washington, DC at the Teens Speak Up! Conference from the eyes of CJ, the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago’s representative

Day 1:

Today I arrived in Washington, D.C. and went to see the White House and other monuments with Leigh and Casey to take pictures. We ate Shake Shack and I went swimming at the hotel.


Day 2:

I got to go to the epilepsy walk today and it was a really nice day out. Then we went to the Holocaust Museum for a couple of hours and it was really sad but I learned a lot about it. Then we went on a bike tour and learned a lot about the nation’s history and saw the cherry blossoms. It was really busy out because of the cherry blossom parade, but I enjoyed the Abraham Lincoln monument, the Korean War monument, Vietnam War, World War II, and Washington Monument. We went to dinner at a Bolivian restaurant and ate outside with Kurt, Case and Leigh. I’m looking forward to meeting all the teens with epilepsy from different states.

Day 3:

I went to the International Spy Museum this morning and saw a lot of cool spy tricks and hidden spy gear in the United States and all around the world. Then we ate at the Lincoln Waffle House which was right next to the Ford Theater where Lincoln died. We went to the Arlington Cemetery too and saw all of the headstones. It was sad, but really nice to see. Then we went to the conference and I was able to speak with all of the other teens that have epilepsy. I got to meet the guy from Pawn Stars and take pictures with him. I didn’t know he had epilepsy too. We talked about our stories and how to talk to the people in Congress.

Day 4:

Today we had conference all day and I was able to hangout with the teens and work on my speech for my meeting with Congress and Senators. I enjoyed talking today to other teens and hearing their stories. Then we had a big party where they had a lot of food and a photo booth. I’m looking forward to tomorrow when we meet with our Congressmen.

Day 5:

My final day in D.C. I met with Eric Goode, aid to Senator Tammy Duckworth and Jasmine Wyatt, aid to Senator Richard Durbin. They took notes and asked me questions on my plans and what I can do to help. They thought what I was doing was great and for a good cause. At Capitol Hill, we also went to House Gallery. It was interesting, I just wish we were able to see the legislatures talk back and forth. I had to say goodbye to all the teens, which was very sad. I wanted to stay there and learn more about how I could help others with epilepsy. Saying goodbye to D.C. was sad. I learned so much about the monuments and the history there. I’m excited to get home and start spreading epilepsy awareness, so people know more and helping other kids, teenagers and adults.

CJ in the Daily Herald

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