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Local student is helping others understand what it's like to live with Epilepsy

 Local student is helping others understand what it's like to live with Epilepsy
Posted at 3:22 PM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 22:30:15-04

COLORADO SPRINGS  — According to the Epilepsy Foundation, Epilepsy is a "seizure-causing brain disorder" that affects 1 in 26 people in the United States.

Epilepsy Foundation
Data from the Epilepsy Foundation

"The fact that your neighbor could have it and you have no clue? I think it's our time to start talking about it so people don't feel so alone," said Marissa Cardenas.

Marissa Cardenas is a senior at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She was diagnosed with Epilepsy when she was 10-years-old.

Her middle school years were nothing but abnormal.

When diagnosed, Cardenas spent an entire year in the hospital all to find the right medication that would control her migraines and seizures.

Cardenas says not many people understand the type of isolation and fear she once felt when trying to explain her disorder to her peers.

"It's this burden because you need to tell people for your own safety but you don't know how people will react either."

It wasn't until she found the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado and Wyoming that she felt understood, and led her to become an advocate for raising awareness.

"That's probably the thing that changed my life the most. It made me break out of my shell."

Cardenas attended their camps where she would meet other kids like her.

Eleven years later, Cardenas leads the camps and has the opportunity to help kids who are fighting the same battle she once did.

Marissa Cardenas attending camps at Epilepsy Foundation
Marissa Cardenas (middle) leads camps

"You may have to take it differently than how everyone else takes it, but in the long run you can do anything you will just have to alter it to your lifestyle," said Cardenas.

For more resources on the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado and Wyoming click here.

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