Epilepsy Awareness
Epilepsy Awareness

Epilepsy Awareness

Epilepsy Does Not Discriminate
People Do

End the stigma surrounding epilepsy and stand with those who face discrimination due to their epilepsy. Your support empowers us to reach more people and challenge misconceptions. Donate today to fuel the work Epilepsy Toronto does to put an end to epilepsy stigma.

Discover the impact of your contribution and learn more about the services we provide.

Defying Discrimination:

Meet inspiring individuals who have faced discrimination due to epilepsy. Their stories, and the stories of many of our members, inspired this campaign. We hope it will foster a deeper understanding and compassion for those living with epilepsy.

Heavy's Story

Meet Steve, aka Heavy; a resilient individual who is determined to rewrite the narrative of life’s adversities. Despite facing epilepsy as a result of a traumatic brain injury, Heavy has discovered strength through music, theatre, and activism. Throughout his epilepsy journey, Heavy has encountered discrimination and isolation, even from his own circle of friends. People sometimes assume that he’d be better off staying home and not pursuing his dreams and aspirations to avoid the possibility of having a seizure in public. But Heavy refuses to let epilepsy or other people’s fears define him or stop him. “I’ve had seizures on stage, on the TTC, at the doctors, on dates. And I’ve been on dates after that, still ride the TTC, had a seizure while I was performing – did bigger shows.” In a world where every person and every epilepsy experience is unique, Heavy’s determination has remained unyielding.

Leah's Story

At age 7, Leah experienced her first seizure, which caused temporary memory loss and resulted in her being transferred to a special education class. She was usually able to hide the seizures enough to avoid telling people they were happening but not enough to avoid being bullied as a result of them. 

Throughout her life, Leah was put on many different medications and experienced some periods of stability but during her first pregnancy, the seizures resurfaced. She found support and community in an Epilepsy Toronto support group: ‘I felt such relief after attending my first support group. I learned and was reassured that it’s not just me. Many people could relate to my experiences, symptoms, and the side effects of my medications ‘ 

In 2021, with a two-year-old at home, and at the height of the pandemic, Leah underwent successful brain surgery. 

Leah, a registered nurse, now emphasizes the importance of self-care. She has experienced guilt, shame, and embarrassment related to her epilepsy. She hopes to continue sharing her journey while supporting others facing similar struggles. Now expecting her second child, she remains committed to raising awareness and advocating for those impacted by epilepsy.

Alessandro's story

Alessandro’s journey with epilepsy began alongside other health conditions at a very young age, but his resilience continues to shine through. Despite facing major surgery early in life, Alessandro remains a bright and joyful child. Supported by his devoted mom, Roza, and their family, they are grateful for the assistance provided by Epilepsy Toronto. Each year, they eagerly participate in the Purple Walk, one of Alessandro’s favorite events, where he proudly wears superhero attire. At just nine years old, Alessandro is already an advocate for epilepsy awareness. During the pandemic, he used his artistic talents to raise funds by selling his paintings. Alessandro lives life with positivity, openness, and a determination to make a difference. His story serves as a reminder of the resilience and courage within the epilepsy community. Let Alessandro’s infectious spirit inspire us all to raise visibility, end stigma, and support those living with epilepsy.

#EndEpilepsyStigma Awareness Campaign

Get ready for our campaign collaboration with OUTEDGE Media launching on March 4! Together, we’re raising awareness about epilepsy stigma.

Join us by snapping a photo and using the hashtag #EndEpilepsyStigma when you spot it in Toronto. Let’s make a difference together!

Epilepsy Does not Dsicriminate, People Do, End Epilepsy Stigma Campaign, Graphic of a kid with a super hero attire, Epilepsy Toronto Awareness Campaign.

Epilepsy Awareness Starts with You!