Faces of the Foundation: Alex
As a freshman at the University of Missouri, Alex sees the need for students to be aware of what epilepsy is. He knows how important it is for a person with epilepsy to have a successful transition to living independently. He has first-hand experience. Alex was diagnosed with epilepsy at an early age and is now living this transition in real-time.
“It is very important to get the word out,” Alex explains. “Not only so that people understand that anyone can have it and if you do, you’re not alone, but also to get as many people as possible seizure first aid certified.”
Alex, a native of the Chicagoland area, remembers the first seizure he had in public. He was in the fourth grade and can recall the moment very clearly. He suddenly realized that he had no feeling on the right side of his body and that he couldn’t move. He saw his right-side twitching and the principal and nurse next to him. He was taken to the emergency room
Initially, Alex felt embarrassed and not as confident in himself.
“Other students kept asking what happened and I realized that it wasn’t normal… not everyone has this condition, and it needed to be taken seriously.”
This may have been “detrimental” to his ego at that young age, however over time, he has come to accept it.
“I came to understand that having epilepsy made me different, but it doesn’t define me. I am a human being.”
Alex is open about having epilepsy. His roommate understands what to do if he were to have a seizure and his friends all know. He is eager to raise epilepsy awareness. Justin Fields, the Chicago Bears quarterback, speaking out about having epilepsy himself has inspired Alex to reach out to his school’s athletic department to see if he can find athletes who have the disorder and are willing to open up about it. He has also connected with the health & wellness department about participating in upcoming events.
As a journalism major, Alex is enjoying his classes and is looking forward to the time when his passion for writing will give him a field to spread epilepsy awareness. He is the recipient of the 2022 EFGC Scholar Award and the Foundation is thrilled to see him work to bring epilepsy into the spotlight.
His advice to other students living with epilepsy:
“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and do not let epilepsy determine who you are.”