One of the issues that has been highlighted particularly over the last couple of weeks is how essential it is to work together. This could be as a community, work place or partnership. Great things can be achieved if we put our heads together and join forces as the impact had will be so much more effective. This also applies to life in general.
When raising awareness for any condition the hard work and time that is required for administration, organization and networking alongside many other factors is time consuming yet invaluable. Much of the advocacy requires volunteers who give up their time in order to come together in a bid to raise awareness.
In my experience, having begun blogging and reaching out to people in order to create a support network and decrease isolation that is felt universally, it is simply a drop in the water. What is wonderful is that through my research as I have previously mentioned, is numerous people who have found themselves in similar situations reach out to others to try and bridge the gap. Although technically we’re not working together as an organization, it is the love and support that we have for each other that keeps us all connected. Ultimately, we all have the same goal. What is advantageous is that countless people experience different types of epilepsy and seizures. As many begin their route of chosen advocacy it materializes that we all have different encounters and subsequent knowledge which somebody else can relate to. This brings comfort and a light at the end of a tunnel reducing the feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Over the last three months since I began my own advocacy, I have been privileged to converge with a number of people with great plans who are doing immense work for this cause. Memo Velasquez is currently writing a play based upon epilepsy incorporating video interviews of epilepsy sufferers and their memories which will be opening in October. He, like me, has developed a Facebook page of support for fellow epilepsy sufferers where they can discuss specific topics, ask questions and generally share information.
I am also liaising with a very courageous and special young man from Cameroon. Takong Del Mezzo has founded the Cameroon Epilepsy Foundation. He travels to different communities in a bid to help epileptics many of whom have never even seen a doctor. He is a talented videographer and together the foundation are working on improving the appalling conditions in which some live. As you will see, the blog before last was a video which he had created to inform people of the realities of living with epilepsy in Cameroon. I have interviewed him and will be posting greater details of the situation out there in a blog later this week.
It has made me realize through talking to others how the attitudes differ in various parts of the world. In Texas, advocacy for epilepsy is tricky as it is not recognized as a disability, therefore conveying the message is even harder. Although the change in acceptance is needed throughout many parts of the country there are certain countries that need it more than most. Cameroon is a perfect example. It is heartbreaking to see and learn of how some people have to live. It is a wake up call that although we have issues in the more developed countries we can see a neurologist, we can get medication, we can have the appropriate tests in order to be provided with a diagnosis and we can explore various methods alongside the medication to additionally improve our quality of life, they are not privy to such luxury.
Sadly, as with many aspects of life, after a period of time it just becomes the norm and we don’t think about life situations that others are experiencing. This is a human trait and it is a trait that in an ideal world needs to change. I feel it would mean a greater number of people would care and a change could take place on a much larger scale.
By working together we have the opportunity to keep each other’s spirits up on the occasions when it seems like there’s a mountain to climb. It’s that support which fires our passion and keeps us going in our quest to which we are all contributing. Without it, whilst working in isolation the input required to make those crescendoing transformations will not be able to happen with the degree of intensity that they need to.
“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.”
― Jean Vanier, Community And Growth