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Cleveland Marathon - Walking the 5K for my brother to support Empowering Epilepsy

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

Hello All!


My name is Dana, and I have a brother Joe who is 3 years younger and has struggled with the dilemmas & adversities of living with Epilepsy for the last 20 years. I’ll never forget the first time I witnessed my brother having a grand-mal seizure at 18 years old in the middle of a busy New York City street in Chinatown. Heartbreaking & a feeling of helplessness is the simplest way for me to explain the experience of watching this happen for the first time to someone you love. I tell my brother for all that he’s been thru he must have at least 9 lives, maybe even more than that. Often times I feel guilty for living a fairly “normal” life compared to my brother, who deserves all the same.


I can’t imagine at just 18 years old, being diagnosed with Epilepsy & trying to cope with not being able to drive suddenly, deciphering who real friends are, & attempting to have other healthy individuals understand both the emotional/physical changes that were happening. Embarrassment, struggling with remembering things, & entering the job world have been a roller coaster ride for my brother. Now that Joe is an adult, finding a partner who is dedicated & who understands is a struggle. The question of having children & how to find the best avenue for a happy life is a work in progress. I want nothing more than for these things to favorably change for my brother.


I have for the first time decided to get involved in the Cleveland Marathon to support Empowering Epilepsy and to be an example to all the families/friends of those who have experienced all the emotions that come with Epilepsy. Having a positive support system makes all the difference when believing those they love can get to a better place. Sharing experiences with those who understand & who can relate is a special connection that you can not place a value on.


One goal I have by participating in this event is to show how I can best show support to my brother, who often times has a closed-door demeanor. By being involved with a group of people who can offer their knowledge and who are willing to share ideas they personally have experienced is a powerful approach. I think of not just my brother, but my Mom & Dad too and how Epilepsy has also influenced their lives.


Empowering Epilepsy brings us all together as a family and has always been a positive influence & for that I will always be grateful. Knowing that I can contribute & make a difference to someone else is greatly rewarding and impactful to this community that continues to grow in both love & support for one another. Participating in the Cleveland Marathon is just the icing on the cake to know that your efforts are going towards a cause you fully support & feel a part of. The reward of how many people you can touch along the way is inspiring and I would encourage others to get involved for that reason alone.

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