Succeeding Despite Epilepsy

Kellie is sharing how she succeeds despite epilepsy and seizures

By Kellie Linehan , Virginia

Person with Epilepsy

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

I had my first seizure when I was 14, but no one knew. I was alone. After I woke up, I told my parents I fell out of a chair, which I did. Weeks later, I had another seizure that my mom saw. After EEGs, MRIs, and four more seizures, I was diagnosed with epilepsy.

Fast forward nine years, eight months, and 18 days later, I had another seizure. I survived high school, college, and a few young adult years with the dark cloud that is epilepsy. I was almost ten years seizure-free, but stress from a bad job caused me to have a seizure. I was 25, living my adult life, and everything stopped. I couldn't drive my brand-new car, it was hard to see friends or date, and I was still working at this seizure-causing job. I was in a bad place.

Six months passed, and I got my car back and a new job! But, when my doctor said, "At your age, you won't grow out of your seizures," it hit me. I would have seizures for life. I would always have the dark cloud of epilepsy following me around. In 2020, after five years of seizure freedom, I ran a half marathon in the beautiful city of Charleston, SC, and that dark cloud struck again.

My seizure-free count started over. It has been three years and three months, to the day, since my last seizure, but every day, I wake up and hope that dark cloud won't strike again.

Epilepsy also brought out a learning disability, and I was told I would not succeed as a teacher, but I proved them wrong. I graduated with a master's degree in education with a 4.0 GPA! Now, I am an elementary school teacher and continue to make a difference in the lives of children. 

Epilepsy is not something I can control, but I try not to let it control me. Sharing my story brought forth a lot of emotions, but I hope it can encourage someone else to share their story, too. 

Reviewed By: Sara Wyen

Sign Up for Emails

Stay up to date with the latest epilepsy news, stories from the community, and more.