My name is Margarita, I am 22 years old and have been living with epilepsy for 4 years. I am a third year medical student at the University of Nottingham in England. Many people cannot understand why I chose to go so far away for university when I have a chronic illness, but if you do the math I was accepted and decided to go away to university 2 weeks before the head injury that caused my first seizure. Since then it has been an uphill battle to achieve my dream. I have taken 2 full years off to try and get my seizures under control; I have been in the hospital hundreds of miles from home and have pushed against barriers people want to impose because of my epilepsy.
I would have given up without my family. I have always had their support, my parents are always supportive, they would drop everything to come and help me and my older brother is always there to pick me up. They will all put their fears aside, to make sure I can do anything; like when I ran a marathon to raise money for epilepsy research, my parents were there every few miles, but did not stop me from running even though they were scared.
One day I will be a doctor, I want to tell my patients with epilepsy my mom’s favorite phrase “take life at your own pace, in the long run it will not matter who went to that party or who graduated first”. Cherish the people who love after you have been diagnosed, they are the ones who will stay with you forever. Lastly my best advice, sour jellybeans get rid of the nasty taste of pills.