Epilepsy Support Group offers Hope

Dan Noyes

By Dan Noyes

I was officially diagnosed with epilepsy later in life, but there were signs of epilepsy that began to show its ugly head in my early 50s.  The culmination was when I had a client meeting and I suddenly felt disconnected from my surroundings.  Clients I had known for over a decade suddenly seemed unknown to me and worse, I noticed the clients looking at me like something was wrong and truly out of sorts.  Like, “What is wrong with Dan?”

As I quickly learned, people will either help you and ask, “What is wrong and how can I help?” or out of fear, people will distance themselves. Sadly, in my situation, good friends and clients chose the latter. This is when I realized that epilepsy is a disease of choices.  I could choose to be depressed. I could choose to hide my pain through medication. Or I could look for a way to take this new challenge and try to find a way to help myself and others.

Participating in the JoshProvides Epilepsy Support Group helped me realize that I am able to reach out and help other people and offer them hope. I have also been open to receiving support from people I would never have known before because of my epilepsy diagnosis. Youth, parents, spouses, and family members share their fears, their tears and their stories in a safe, supportive group. No judgements, no isolation – just support for one another.

There is no doubt … epilepsy sucks! The pain is intense beyond words. If you are married, our spouses go through their own pain and at times they have the same doubts you do – will life ever be “normal” again?  This is why JoshProvides is so important to me and others.  It helps us to know that we’re not alone. To hear other people’s stories. To know that there are struggles, but there are also celebrations.

Thank you, Sandi Chapnick and Andria Bilan, for your compassionate care and loving support!