Local Epilepsy Advocates Launching 'Brainstormers' Podcast
Alek Stewart, co-founder of Grey Bruce Epilepsy, partnering with Vancouver woman on new podcast for people and families affected by epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a brain condition that causes recurring seizures, often leaving the individual extremely tired and confused. This hidden disability is often overlooked in our society, but a local family is excited to share some much-needed light and education on the subject.
Alek and Brittany Stewart, the founders of Grey Bruce Epilepsy, have already co-hosted three events raising nearly $50,000 for epilepsy research. Their organization, an Epilepsy Canada partner, is dedicated to spreading awareness about epilepsy in our community.
Alek is a father, husband, advocate, and someone who lives with epilepsy himself. He shares his story through their social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram, highlighting the connections between mental health and epilepsy. Thirty percent of epilepsy patients struggle with their mental health in the form of anxiety, depression, etc., he says.
Now, Alek has teamed up with Vanessa from Vancouver, British Columbia to make a podcast about their epilepsy experiences for the community. Brainstorm Podcast launches its first episode in February 2024. Alek and Vanessa, diagnosed with epilepsy as children/teens, will share stories about how epilepsy is unique to each individual.
Epilepsy has a place in my life, as well. My husband, Bryan, has been living with epilepsy since birth. In my eyes, he is a superhero and the bravest person I know. He has never let his condition stop him from achieving greatness, winning academic awards, and graduating college with distinction.
Epilepsy is not as rare a condition as you may think, and affects many in our community. Community support and fundraisers are critical to fueling modern research for a cure and developing state-of-the-art technology like the ROSA Arm, a surgical assistant that has led to improved patient comfort and outcomes in the treatment of epilepsy.
In Grey Bruce and Owen Sound, we can get involved by encouraging people to wear purple on March 26th, Purple Day, an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy.
You can also support local fundraisers, or head to an Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario information night and learn more. If you see a sunflower on a green lanyard, it is also a global symbol for invisible disabilities.
Epilepsy can affect anyone at any age, from birth to the elderly, and can limit many parts of everyday life, especially when seizures are active and frequent.
Modern medicine has allowed many with epilepsy to live mostly regular lives. However, even when seizures are as controlled as possible, this does not mean that the individual is not free from worry, stress, and anxiety. Most epilepsy patients have certain triggers to watch for. Strobe lights, late nights, stress, alcohol, drugs, and a missed dose of medication are triggers for most people with epilepsy.
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It’s safe to say that hidden disabilities, like epilepsy, can be frustrating as people who are not familiar with this condition can easily underestimate the symptoms and its impact. You can find more information about epilepsy and seizures at epilepsy.ca, epilepsy.com, and https://sabic.ca/.
Our community is fortunate to have strong advocates like the Stewarts. Follow the Brainstormers Podcast on Instagram to learn more about Alek and Vanessa’s podcast and get notified as their episodes become available.
Thank you to sponsors of The Owen Sound Current Writers’ Fund, who make these community contributions possible. Contributions from the community do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of The Owen Sound Current and its editor or publisher.