My name is Amanda Filippone & I was diagnosed with Epilepsy at the age of 7..still battling now at the age of 22. Here is my story.
"Most of you will never know what it is like to train and compete at a collegiate level of athletics, let alone with a chronic health condition that could end a sport’s career at ANY moment. This is the life of me..Amanda Filippone, a twenty-two-year old attending New Jersey City University. I will be entering my fourth year of college soccer, 5th year of academics, and my 15th year of battling epilepsy. For those of you who don't know, Epilepsy is defined as a brain disorder in which a person has repeated seizures (convulsions) over time. Seizures are episodes of disturbed brain activity that cause changes in attention or behavior."
"Being diagnosed at seven years old is the last thing that a young girl wants. I estimate that I had up to 15 grand mal seizures in my lifetime, the last of which happened 15 weeks ago while changing medications. A grand mal seizure is what most people imagine when they think of a seizure. It consists of violent body convulsions as well as loss of consciousness, and usually only happens once in a person’s life. Not me, I had my first grand mal seizure while riding a bike. This is what led to the diagnosis of my condition. After that, I endured blood test after blood test, EEG tests, and numerous doctors’ appointments. My family, consisting of my parents and two siblings, also had to adjust to this new dynamic.
At first, I could only ask myself the question, “Why me?” And who wouldn’t ask the same of themselves if the circumstances were theirs, too? Over the years, I learned the answer to that question: to have my voice heard. A local newspaper enabled me to have this opportunity. The response to my story solidified my resolve, especially when a gentleman from South Africa contacted me about his then two-year-old daughter with the same condition. My epilepsy has turned from something that made me feel isolated, into something I could use to help others who were feeling the same as me. My condition is part of me, and I wanted to be able to help others understand this as well. Soccer became my outlet. I have always enjoyed the game of soccer, but now I have a renewed appreciation for it. It is a stress relief, and a place where suddenly the playing field of life was equal and even. I started when I was four years old, playing with the boys. When I was diagnosed, I was still able to play, but now a seizure could make the next soccer game my last. I don’t take any minute for granted. I am blessed to be playing the one thing that I love. I have a great ambition for the future and dream to help people affected by epilepsy."
The link below is the seizure the held me out of my 2013 season at New Jersey City University.