Kobe Bryant dropped by ‘The View’ with a poignant surprise for a 6-year-old fan


Originally posted on ca.news.yahoo.com

A surprise in-person gift from Kobe Bryant might bring most fans to tears, but on The View this morning, things got especially poignant.

Six-year-old Bryson Thompson and his parents shared his heartbreaking story about battling epilepsy. Sarah Thompson explained how the family is getting through this tough time — which at its worst has included Bryson having 100 seizures a day — thanks to the foundation Jack’s Helping Hand.

“Whether it’s a Fitbit watch to help monitor [Bryson’s] heart rate while he is sleeping or money for gas and food to get to doctor’s appointments that are so far away, [Jack’s Helping Hand] make it so simple and easy,” said Sarah Thompson.

To give back to the foundation, Bryson’s brother Brock had the idea to collect signed sports memorabilia to auction off in a few weeks. The View first surprised them by donating signed items from NFL and NBA players including Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and the entire Golden State Warriors basketball team. But there was one more surprise in store. Whoopi Goldberg called up her pal Kobe Bryant for the final special gift.

Bryant walked out from backstage with two signed Lakers jerseys, one for Bryson and one for the Thompsons’ upcoming auction. Tears, as you can imagine, were shed.

The former NBA star explained that his generous donation comes down to a very basic principle of kindness, saying, “We all have a responsibility to each other to help one another. It’s the fundamental belief.”

Watch the video by clicking here.

Originally posted on ca.news.yahoo.com


The Osler Epilepsy Scholarship

The 2018 Osler Epilepsy Scholarship is now open for applications!


Students who have successfully completed high school and entering their first year of post-secondary education or continuing their post-secondary education this fall.


To view/print out the application form, click here.

About the scholarship

Are you a student with Epilepsy who is enrolled or is about to be enrolled in a post-secondary education program this September? Then congratulations, you are already well on your way to beating the odds. Only one in three people with disabilities earn a post-secondary degree in Canada. We at Epilepsy Ontario want to improve those odds and we want to celebrate your success in getting as far as you have already.

That is why we are pleased to announce the competition for the Osler Epilepsy Scholarship for 2018 is now open. If you have Epilepsy and you are pursuing a post-secondary education anywhere in Ontario, you are eligible for one of four $1,500 scholarships to be awarded in June at a special ceremony in Toronto.  You can access the application form by clicking here and tell us in a brief personal essay how someone with Epilepsy inspired you.  You could become a member of an Osler Scholarship community of past winners like Melanie Jeffrey, who has since gone on to become a member of the Board of Directors of Epilepsy Ontario and has become a passionate advocate for Epilepsy awareness.

For Lawton Osler – his company’s generous support makes the Osler Epilepsy Scholarship possible — it’s all about helping hard working students with Epilepsy who have already overcome so many barriers reach their full potential.  The awards night in June, he says, is a truly special occasion. “To see the students come with their parents, grandparents, boyfriends and girlfriends – it’s just amazing.”

The 2017 winners were Heather Perl, Mary-Katherine Rowe, Mackenzie Fast, Sarah Picotte and Vanessa Wadge.

For Hysenaj, who had her first seizure when she was 11, overcoming the barriers to education that so many people with Epilepsy face has been a constant challenge, but ultimately a rewarding one. “Because of these challenges, I don’t believe I would have become the person I am today and for that I am grateful.” she says.

The deadline for applications for this year’s awards is June 15, 2018 at 4 PM.  If you have any questions about the application process you can call  us at 905-738-9431 or through our website at http://www.epilepsyontario.org.

Comments from Previous Recipients

“The OBCL Epilepsy Scholarship benefited me by helping pay for my tuition. It was a great help and I was also able to spread the word and knowledge about epilepsy.” – Cassidy S.

“I never let epilepsy become a barrier.  I made it a part of my life and a part of who I am.  Because of epilepsy I am a more determined and persistent person who never lets anything stand his way.  The OBCL Scholarship gave me the chance to show this to my family, friends, professors, and community.” – Rahman M.

“I was not successful at my first post-secondary attempt. With the hope of receiving the OBCL Epilepsy scholarship I applied to the Recreation and Leisure program, something  I had always dreamed of.  I’m finding Centennial College and the faculty very supportive and am loving the program.  Thank you so much Epilepsy Ontario. You are the Best!!” – Jaimie M L

How it began

Before OBCL, a drug company (Pfizer in 2002 and Lundbeck Canada in 2003) offered the epilepsy scholarships in the early 2000s. Back then, Osler already took on an active role as a member of the committee that read through the students’ applications.

When the drug company decided to discontinue the scholarships, Osler was ready to take the lead. How did Osler feel about his new initiative? Click here to find out.

To read our press release from the first OBCL Epilepsy Scholarship Awards, click here.

How to ApplyExpand How to Apply Section

To apply, print out the application form and email or mail all requested documents to Epilepsy Ontario. Best of luck!

Osler Epilepsy Scholarship
Epilepsy Ontario
470 North Rivermede Rd
Unit 15, 2nd Floor
Concord, Ontario L4K 3R8
email: info@epilepsyontario.org

Application Deadline: The deadline for the 2018 Osler Epilepsy Scholarships is June 15, 2018 by 4:00pm. For more events, click here.

‘I had a seizure on a first date’ reveals woman diagnosed with brain tumour at 26


Originally published in http://metro.co.uk

A woman diagnosed with epilepsy caused by a tumour growing on her brain is refusing to let it take over her life – even when it means having a seizure on a first date.

Rosalie Marsden has just started a video series online in a bid to help others understand the difficulties of balancing life with epilepsy as a young woman.

She was diagnosed three years ago after suffering up to five seizures a day and not knowing what was going on. Since then, she says they can come and go at any time, and sometimes, at the worst of times. ‘They are really random, I can have one a day, or every few days,’ she told Metro.co.uk. ‘It can happen at any moment and when I’m doing something important which can be really frustrating. ‘I had a seizure on a first date, and during a job interview – I didn’t get it.

‘The worst was when I was giving a presentation and I suddenly had to run to the side of the stage and sit down and everyone was like “what is she doing?!”. ‘It’s pretty annoying.It’s something that I’m thinking about all the time.’ Rosalie, now 29, is facing an agonising decision over whether or not to have brain surgery to remove her tumour in the hope it also cures her epilepsy. But the terrifying consequences of the surgery could be that she loses her speech, memory, or worse. ‘It’s really really scary, and I’m still learning and trying to process this,’ she said.

In a bid to raise awareness and better understand her own help with others, she has started a blog called The Life of Brian – the name she has given to her tumour. ‘If I named it I took some ownership of it – it’s also great in explaining how I feel, I just say “Brian’s being a dick today” or whatever,’ Rosalie said. The name came about by an unfortunate WhatsApp autocorrect when attempting to break the news of her diagnosis to friends. ‘I told them I had a Brian tumour,’ she laughed. ‘It sort of just stuck.’


Rosalie’s seizures: What they feel like ‘They last about a minute, luckily I don’t fit or have any convulsions but I then take about an hour before I start to feel normal again. ‘Because my tumour is in my temporal lobe – which is where our memory is – I have short term memory loss after every seizure. ‘I can feel it coming and then I get this heatwave and nausea go through my body. ‘I feel really sad afterwards, I tend to need a nap and then when I am aware again I can’t really remember exactly what happened. ‘It’s like when you’ve been really drunk and the next day you have a patchy memory of what you did – that’s how it is for about an hour before and after the seizure.’

Rosalie first started noticing signs of epilepsy a couple of years before her diagnosis but said she found it terrifying as she had no idea what was happening to her. ‘At the beginning it was really scary because I hadn’t yet been diagnosed and I was having five seizures a day. ‘I thought I was psychotic, because sometimes I hallucinate and they give me deja vu. ‘I was going mad trying to understand it. I had been to see my GP before for anxiety and so I thought maybe that’s what it was.

‘It’s the weirdest thing, because I just woke up one day and had epilepsy. There was a lot of confusion and back and forth before I was diagnosed, but actually, once I had my diagnosis, there was this huge relief,’ she said. But getting it sorted hasn’t been an easy road – which is something Rosalie was keen to address in her videos. ‘Of course it was very scary knowing I had epilepsy caused by a brain tumour – but I felt glad I had something to call it now and could try to get it sorted,’ she said. ‘I am now on my fifth medication, I’ve had all sorts of problem from weight gain to one that made me incredibly angry. ‘I was so angry to the point I had to have anger management just to control it day to day.

She added: ‘My latest one seems to be going okay and even though I am constantly thinking about my epilepsy – I never think I’m not going to do something because of it. ‘I just have to plan my life out a bit more now.’ Rosalie hopes her video series will help her to raise money for charities close to her heart, The Brain Tumour Charity and Epilepsy Society, as well as some much needed awareness of the issue.

Originally published in http://metro.co.uk




Can Anxiety Cause Seizures and Do Seizures Cause Anxiety?


Originally posted at www.calmclinic.com

Anxiety – especially panic attacks and severe anxiety reactions – overwhelm the brain. They can cause severe physical and emotional responses, and in some cases it may feel as though your brain is firing on all ends.

One of the worries that people have is that their anxiety is causing a seizure. Others already know they have a seizure disorder, and worry that anxiety may make it worse. Still others are concerned that their epilepsy may be causing their panic attacks. We explore all of these briefly in this article.

How Severe is Your Anxiety?

Only your doctor can diagnose epilepsy, and compare it to your worries about panic attacks and anxiety. But if you are ready to learn more about your anxiety, take our free 7 minute anxiety test to score your anxiety severity, compare it to others, and see treatment ideas.

Start the test here.

The Concern About Anxiety and Seizures

Those with anxiety have a tendency to fear the worst. Those with panic attacks even more so. Anxiety causes the brain to focus on worst case scenarios, and unfortunately that means that if you have a panic attack you’re more prone to believing it’s caused by something worse – something like a seizure.

Visiting the doctor is the first step, as is taking my free 7 minute anxiety test to learn more about the likelihood you have anxiety. The key here is to look at both symptoms and likelihoods. Below are several important notes about anxiety and seizures.

Anxiety Can Cause Seizures in Those With Epilepsy

If you have already been diagnosed as epileptic then yes, anxiety can cause seizures. Severe stress is a very common seizure trigger, and those with severe anxiety often experience severe stress.

However, it should be noted that this is far more common with those that already have epilepsy. It is very rare for someone to have their first seizure as a result of anxiety. Those that already have epilepsy are usually aware of the risks.

Similarly, the age groups are very different. Most people have their first panic attacks in their early to mid-twenties (give or take a few years). They may also have panic attacks as a response to pregnancy or stress.

Epileptics tend to have their first seizures while very young – usually as infants, or as the result of head trauma, or as they reach retirement age. Developing epilepsy between the ages of adolescence and adulthood is exceedingly rare.

So while anxiety can cause seizures, it is very rare for anxiety to cause seizures in those that do not already know they have a seizure disorder.

Panic Attacks and Partial Seizures Can Be Similar – But Rarely

Panic attacks usually come on so suddenly and are so overwhelming that everyone looks for some “other cause.” If you research too much online, you may find countless forums and websites telling you that it may be something else other than panic attacks, and you may read something where someone tells you that it could be a partial seizure.

There are, in extremely rare cases, partial seizures that mimic panic attacks. But these are not very common, and again, most of these people were already at risk for epilepsy. There are also panic attacks that can be so severe that they mimic seizures. These are slightly more common, but still fairly infrequent.

The only way to tell them apart is to talk to your doctor, but generally there are a few giveaways:

  • Those with seizures may have repetitive actions.
  • Panic attacks tend to last longer.
  • Those with seizures may be non-responsive.

Again, the reality is that the two are very different, even though they do share many of the same symptoms. Also, these are only partial seizures. Full epileptic seizures are nothing like panic attacks.

Don’t fall into the trap of convincing yourself that seizures can be the only explanation for your panic attacks. Partial seizures that mimic panic attacks without any other more obvious seizure symptoms are very rare. If you’re worried, talk to your doctor, but note that the more you try to talk yourself out of the idea that you have panic attacks, the harder they will be to treat.

Seizures Can Cause Intense Anxiety

Finally, the worry is not just that anxiety causes seizures. The worry for those with epilepsy is that seizures can cause anxiety. Unfortunately, this is a common problem with epileptics for several reasons:

  • An epilepsy diagnosis can be very stressful.
  • Epileptic seizures can cause intense anxiety.
  • Epileptics may live in fear of the next seizure.
  • Epilepsy may temporarily alter your brain chemistry in a way that causes more anxiety.

That’s why if you are epileptic, treating both your epilepsy and your anxiety is always a smart idea. The right epilepsy medications can help stop your seizures, but you will still want to make sure that you’re not letting anxiety upset your life – especially since that anxiety you experience may increase your risk of a seizure.

Understanding Seizures and Anxiety

Those with panic attacks know how easy it is to fall into the trap of convincing themselves that their anxiety is something more serious. If you haven’t already been diagnosed with epilepsy, the reality is that your panic attacks are likely just that – panic attacks and intense anxiety.

It never hurts to talk to a doctor. And those with epilepsy are at risk for further seizures because of the intense stress of an anxiety attack. But in general, the two conditions are unrelated, and it does not appear that those with panic attacks are more or less prone to seizures than the rest of the population.

If you have anxiety, no matter the cause, you should get help. Only commitment to an anxiety treatment can rid you of anxiety forever.

I’ve helped many people with their panic attacks and intense anxiety, starting with my free 7 minute anxiety test. It’s an important test for understanding your anxiety more.

Originally posted at www.calmclinic.com


2018 Ontario Election

Why are we talking about epilepsy during the 2018 Ontario election?

Ontario’s epilepsy community needs community education and support programs. Programs that help people understand their epilepsy and how to manage it, reduce seizure frequency and unnecessary hospital visits, and help them live well in the community need to be a priority for the next government. Ontario’s Community Epilepsy Agencies are already providing these programs with limited resources and need provincial funding to maintain and expand programs for people living with epilepsy.


Find out how you can help by clicking here.