Chasing Away Epilepsy

By Melissa Signor

On December 15, 2015 at about 5:30 am, our family’s lives were impacted forever. Chase had his first seizure.

We didn’t know it was a seizure. The sounds and convulsing made me think he was choking on vomit. I called 911. The paramedics arrived. Everything checked out fine. They told me to call Chase’s pediatrician. Fast forward eight years and what was such an unknown occurrence has become our passion, our mission: to raise epilepsy awareness and fundraise for JoshProvides Epilepsy Assistance Foundation.

Chase has had a total of 15 seizures – nocturnal, tonic-clonic seizures. He is unaware they are happening. Typically, just after falling asleep, he will have a tremor in his arm and then a seizure begins. Never lasting more than a minute and having had 15 to date, we feel blessed that Chase’s condition is less severe. Witnessing a seizure is one of the most frightening, helpless events I have had to experience. To watch our son seize, and not be able to do a damn thing but wait…as a mom, I want to protect my children, keep them safe, and prevent anything from harming them. But with seizures – it’s a waiting game. Stay. Safe. Side. Until the seizure subsides. And then it’s the after effects: often vomiting, a horrible headache, and sometimes postictal tremors.

We advocate for Chase and we are teaching him to advocate for himself. We have used this condition as an avenue to help others. We have organized an annual walk “Chase away Epilepsy” to raise epilepsy awareness and fundraise for JoshProvides. As a caregiver, I try to educate as many people as I can who are in contact with Chase – to know what to do in the event of a seizure and to understand the condition as best as we can.

I am a newly appointed board member with JoshProvides, and I am thankful for this community. Sandi and her husband went through the unthinkable, and I thank God for their hearts – turning tragedy into triumph, offering hope & support to those with seizures and epilepsy. And it is our hope and prayer that one day soon, epilepsy will no longer be a treatable condition but a curable condition. Together, we believe we can chase away epilepsy.