My story begins similarly to mostly anyone who lives with epilepsy. I started having Grand Mal and partial seizures when I was 16 years old. The next 6 years were spent in and out of hospitals and living in a haze of countless seizure medications. Looking back, the last years of high school and college seem illusory, as if I was living someone else’s life that I couldn’t control.

Now, my Grand Mal seizures are 100% controlled and we’re headed in the right direction to treat the partial seizures. It’s a daily struggle but I’m grateful for it. Life is a blessing. Some people are completely healthy yet they don’t live their lives. Epilepsy is my reminder to “seize” (pun!) the opportunities you can and run with them.

As fate would have it, a life-long friend, Rohan Hoare, introduced me to the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas. Due to my fundraising background, I was hired as their Development Coordinator in Houston

The Foundation opened my eyes to a world that I didn’t know existed. Apparently one in 26 people will experience a seizure in their lifetime. One in 26 people! In my thirty years prior to working at the Foundation, I had only met (so I thought) ONE person with epilepsy and I felt completely alone in my diagnosis. This goes to show how this disease isn’t discussed and addressed properly and what a huge need there is in our community for support.

I’m thankful that my family could bear the financial burden of treatments and medications, but for many others, it’s simply impossible. EFTX offers the medication, the clinics, the support groups, the summer camps, the education, etc – all at no cost.

I’m so lucky to work with patients and supporters, to hear their stories, to share my own and to help the best way I can.

My biggest dream is for a cure to be found, but until then there is help – at Epilepsy Foundation Texas – if you want or need it.

To wrap up, I need to send a huge thank you to my life-long family members – Bob Walker, Sharon Walker and Sarah Walker Kinard – who have supported me every inch of the way and for my husband, Jimmy Rockwell, who patiently walks this journey alongside me.

Amanda W. Rockwell
Adult living with epilepsy
Staff member at EFTX