Author Archives: Communications

The Epilepsy Ontario 2024 Scholarships are now open. The deadline is August 16th, 2024.

June 13, 2024

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.

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. You could become a member of our 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.

Eligibility

 

The 2024 Epilepsy Ontario Scholarships are awarded to students across Ontario who are living with epilepsy and who meet the following criteria:

• be a person living with epilepsy.
• be a Canadian citizen, Protected Person or Permanent Resident of Canada (proof of status required)
• be a resident of Ontario
• be enrolled in or accepted for full-time or part-time post-secondary studies in a College or University, accredited professional or apprenticeship training institution (part-time students must be completing at least one course each semester)
• should not be related to any member of the Board of Directors or staff of Epilepsy Ontario
• Have not been a previous Scholarship Recipient

CLICK HERE FOR 2024 Application

Deadline to Apply is August 16th 

“it’s like a thunderstorm in your brain”

June 11, 2024

As a child, I was one of the playful and outgoing of the group. In grade 2, I had my very first tonic-clonic seizure at home while playing a game on the computer with my twin sister, Caroline. We didn’t know what was happening so Caroline called up our older brother, Derek and then he proceeded to call our neighbors who are both a paramedic and a nurse. Once my parents got home our neighbor advised my parents to go get checked out.

After a CT scan, bloodwork, and many hours of waiting the response we received was they didn’t see anything, but I should not play on the computer or watch TV and was free to go. Another seizure happened, this time at school and 911 was called. My parents were on their way to school. The paramedics advised that we go get checked again, so we did. This time they wanted to keep me in the hospital for a while to run further tests. These tests included a Lumbar Puncture, MRI, and an EEG. After many days in the hospital, I was released with the diagnosis of epilepsy.

We didn’t know anything about epilepsy and seizures and those are some scary words for a kid, so my family and I found ways to explain it to my classmates, such as “it’s like a thunderstorm in your brain”. We also didn’t use the word seizure rather we used “episode”. We had so many great doctors who provided us with so many useful resources including information on what was then known as Epilepsy Halton Peel Hamilton and now known as Epilepsy South Central Ontario. Sunny Days Camp was the first service we used, and it was a game changing program for me, because I was able to be a kid in a safe environment.

I am a counselor at Sunny Days, and I love seeing how much they’ve grown each year. I also have been fortunate to find the Youth Empowerment Program and have made some great relationships with other youth.

Going back to school after being in a hospital was hard to explain to my friends, but as we all grew older it became a little bit easier until grade 7 when the bullying got really concerning.

We then finally considered the Epilepsy Classroom. This classroom gave me so much freedom to just be me and feel safe even if I did have a seizure. I have so much respect for all the teachers that taught me different skills and worked with me 1- on-1 and allowed me to be successful.

Highschool was challenging but most of my teachers were very supportive, and I know I could go to them if I needed assistance or just needed to talk. After high school I decided to go to school and get my diploma in Child and Youth Care and graduated in 2020. After taking a small break, I then went on to do my Honors Degree in Child and Youth Care and have graduated from that as well.

With the support of my professors, I have accomplished so much while in school, including doing a Community Epilepsy Awareness Event, become a class leader and meet with the Sr. Dean and bring positive things and negative concerns in hopes that they can help fix it. Additionally, I also was asked to share some of my story at a Showcase with one of my professors, in front of several Associate Deans and the Humber Community.

With the right support and accommodations, I accomplished more than I ever thought I would, and I am glad I was able to prove those who didn’t believe I could do great things, wrong. I also owe so much thanks to my parents and family for being so supportive during this rollercoaster ride and how they continue to be by my side no matter the situation.

Stories like the one you see above highlight the crucialness of why donations are so important.

Your generous contribution will provide much-needed funding for research, education, awareness, advocacy, and client support, with the goal of increasing the quality of life for people of all ages who are living with epilepsy every day of their lives.

Please Donate.Make a Donation to Epilepsy South Central Ontario

“YOU CAN DO IT” – the ride for epilepsy launches a 300km bike ride starting in Orangeville and ending in Mississauga cycling all through South Central Ontario.

April 10, 2024

“YOU CAN DO IT” – the ride for epilepsy launches a 300km bike ride starting in Orangeville and ending in Mississauga cycling all through South Central Ontario.

For Immediate Release – April 10th, 2024

Epilepsy South Central Ontario, a leader in epilepsy counseling and support services for clients diagnosed with epilepsy is proud to announce the details of its highly anticipated “YOU CAN DO IT” – the ride for epilepsy, scheduled to take place on May 25th, 2024, starting in Orangeville and ending in Mississauga.

Marco Magalhaes and his friend Chris Kairalla will be cycling the full 300km in support of epilepsy awareness and funding. Marco’s Son, Daniel Magalhaes will join them on the last 50km.

“Receiving no sustainable government funding, ‘The ‘YOU CAN DO IT – ride for epilepsy’ brings together the community to learn, understand and support our fundraising initiatives,” says David Charchalis, CEO, of Epilepsy South Central Ontario.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW FUNDRAISING PAGE

For media inquiries, please contact:

Trevor Gordon

Community Engagement and Media Manager

trevor@epilepsysco.org

905-450-1900  ext. 206

 

ABOUT EPILEPSY SOUTH CENTRAL ONTARIO

 

Epilepsy South Central Ontario is a non-profit charitable organization that provides education, information, and support to families and individuals and enhance the quality of life for those living with seizure disorders. Established in 2008, Epilepsy South Central Ontario works to increase public awareness and encourages understanding within our vast and diverse community. Our vision is to eliminate barriers within the community and uphold a high standard of positive race relations (BIPOC) and outlook while striving to ensure Sunny Days Camp, the Youth Empowerment Program, Seniors Programs, Counselling and Support services are accessible to all.

 

The darkness this unknown brought scared both of my parents a lot

April 9, 2024

My brother was born on a hot day in August of 2005. When he was born, my grandad named him, and he was a healthy boy. Almost two years have passed, and I came to the world to meet with him. My parents were happy to have two healthy kids, not expecting anything unfortunate to happen. My brother did not have any health problems at the age of 2, or nothing my parents noticed. As time passed, his speaking went back and my parents assumed that he was copying me, his baby sister. But as I grew older, my brother’s speaking didn’t improve, and my parents were getting slightly concerned.

One day, a family friend pointed out that something might be “wrong” with my brother, offending both of my parents. They were not educated, and at the time it was an insult to suggest that someone’s kid might have neurological problems. My mom still tears up whenever she tells how they figured out that my brother was epileptic, and had one of the severe kinds. As suspicions came into my mom’s heart, she went to a neurologist and learned the truth. She didn’t know how to feel or what to do. She didn’t know what epilepsy was or how it would affect my brother. She didn’t know how my brother would not talk, use a diaper for years and struggle to fit in a society full of ruthless people.

The darkness this unknown brought scared both of my parents a lot. They spent years and years going to doctors as we all learned what to do when he had seizures. I remember how I would yell at kids who wouldn’t play with my brother because he was not able to speak, I would tell them how I understood him. He became my best friend, we couldn’t even sleep in different rooms.

As I am writing his story, I wish that I could tell that he is doing better now. He passed away at the age of 7, drowning in a pool because of a seizure he had. It was nighttime and we had just arrived at a hotel. As we were walking into the hotel, my brother ran away in a split second. We would always hold his hand, but he had a hyperactivity disorder and had a chance to leave us. We searched for him the whole night, praying for him to be okay. He drowned in a shallow pool, a pool he would never drown in if he didn’t have a seizure, leaving me behind.

Words are not enough to say how heartbroken I am, words are useless to explain my feelings as my tears fall to the ground. I am seventeen years old now, and the majority of my life was spent questioning the reason for people’s inconsideracy. For some reason, we see neurological disorders as something that must be hidden, as a form of flaw in one. I believe that it all has to do with the lack of knowledge we have about neurological disorders as a society, and how we love to make stories about what is going on in the darkness. I can’t go back in time, and educate people who wouldn’t play with my brother. I can’t go back in time to tell everyone how cruel they were. However, we all have the power to educate people today, we have the power to change the unacceptable titles people get because of having epilepsy.

Life is already hard for all of us, and it is meaningless to make it even harder for those who only want acceptance.

Stories like the one you see above highlight the crucialness of why donations are so important.

Your generous contribution will provide much-needed funding for research, education, awareness, advocacy, and client support, with the goal of increasing the quality of life for people of all ages who are living with epilepsy every day of their lives.

Please Donate.Make a Donation to Epilepsy South Central Ontario

For each pair of purple ribbon socks sold, $5 will be donated to Sunny Days Camp.

March 1, 2024
moJJa Socks is teaming up with Epilepsy South Central Ontario to raise funds through the sale of the Purple ribbon socks for Sunny Days Camp.
  • For each pair of purple ribbon socks sold, $5 will be donated to Sunny Days Camp.
  • Epilepsy South Central Ontario is a non-profit charitable organization that provides education, information, and support to families and individuals.  They are dedicated to improving the quality of life for persons living with epilepsy.
  • Epilepsy South Central Ontario’s Sunny Days Camp is a weekly day camp for children living with epilepsy and their siblings aged 5-14 years.
  • When other camps say no to children with epilepsy or seizure disorders, Epilepsy South Central Ontario says absolutely!

BUY NOW

More details

  • Purple ribbons are featured throughout the socks on a black background.
  • Reinforced heel and toe make these socks comfortable to wear.

BUY NOW