As someone diagnosed with epilepsy, when Rhonda heard about the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago, she thought it would be a good idea to learn what it had to offer. More than a decade later, Rhonda’s continuous involvement in programs, activities, and support groups has made her a staple of the Foundation.
“When I first came to the Foundation, I liked the environment,” Rhonda recalls. “Everyone working there was welcoming and understanding. It felt right.”
Over the years, Rhonda has greatly appreciated the dedication of her case managers. The guidance she received with public health benefits and other challenges have been very helpful. She is also quick to point out how they made her feel.
“It is nice to have someone who is friendly and understanding,” Rhonda says. “If I was upset about something, I knew the person I needed to talk to.”
Beyond the care she receives from her case manager, Rhonda enjoys participating in everything else the Foundation has to offer. She has fond memories of the art therapy program. She enjoys current activities such as monthly social gatherings (the Halloween Bash and Valentine’s Day Party in particular), the annual Picnic in the Park and the Epilepsy 5K Fall Fest.
“It’s great to get out and meet people. Everyone gets along.”
Whether it’s canoeing at a retreat, conversing about art at Studio E, playing games at the picnic, or getting some exercise at the 5K, it’s simple:
“I just always feel comfortable and happy,” Rhonda says.
Rhonda also has utilized the Foundation to learn more about epilepsy, seizures and proper first aid. She attends the Epilepsy Consumer Conference every year. At last year’s conference, Rhonda noticed that her friend, also an EFGC client, was having a seizure. She immediately found help. Jose, EFGC’s Administrative Manager, knows Rhonda well and recalls that moment. “She is very supportive of everyone. Whatever is needed, Rhonda is there to help.”
The friendships with fellow clients and the relationships with EFGC staff that Rhonda has formed over the years have made her a fundamental part of the Foundation. She, along with all clients, are what make us a community.