My biggest struggle right now is letting go of the life I imagined for my son and family, and accepting the challenges that lie ahead of us for many years. Epilepsy has stolen so many moments, smiles, and joys from our little family. It has caused heartbreak, setbacks, anxiety, and grief. I never pictured having to watch my child suffer, but through it all we’ve become stronger, resilient, and closer than I could have imagined. I’m incredibly thankful and grateful for our family, friends, teachers, and therapists who go above and beyond to understand and care for Owen.

Unfortunately our new normal is always changing. Any given day, week, or month could bring us something different. A new challenge. An unforeseen setback. A new set of symptoms. So we’ve learned to be ready for anything and to adapt to whatever circumstance. It breaks my heart that it’s 2017 and there are still people who think Epilepsy is some contagious disease. Epilepsy is a neurological condition. It affects people in many different ways. And yes, while it’s scary to see someone have a seizure, most people living with Epilepsy can lead completely normal and incredible lives. Prince, President Roosevelt, Alexander the Great, Van Gough, Agatha Christie, even Socrates dealt with Epilepsy.

Our mantra has become “We’re a family. We can get through this together.” Epilepsy has changed our life. It’s thrown so many obstacles our way. But something really incredible happened when we were at our lowest point. We were in a hospital room feeling overwhelmed. Sad. Just completely defeated. And Owen looked at us and said, “We are a family.” It was a simple thought, but such an incredible and insightful reminder. Yes, we are a family and by working together we can overcome almost any challenge.

Lisa Durr