I was 16 when I was first diagnosed with epilepsy. I had my first seizure just outside of my school in front of my whole year group. I instantly changed from being the 'quiet girl' to being the 'seizure girl'. I started getting a lot of sympathetic looks from all of the students and teachers and felt like the only black sheep in an endless field of fluffy white lambs to the point of overthinking it so much that I changed schools.
For years I felt like I was the only person in the world with epilepsy as at the time it didn't get much limelight. After looking into it however, I learnt that epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological problem, right up there with migraines. 1 in every 103 people in the UK are living with epilepsy today.
After lots of poking and prodding on the doctors part and getting countless tests and scans, they finally prescribed me with an anti-convulsant medication that stops the fits from occurring. Along with the medication I was also given a long list of things that I could no longer do, including driving for a year, taking baths and scuba diving for 5 years (found that one very hard). The doctors however, never mentioned anything about cycling 1200km from north-western France to the border of France and Spain and then walking 830km from the border to southern Spain.
So in an attempt to raise a little money and at least raise awareness for epilepsy, my boyfriend who has seen and dealt with many of these fits and I are going to cycle from Roscoff to Irún, and then walk from Irún to Santiago De Compostella in April.
We will be keeping you all updated on the progression of the trip and sharing lots of pictures with you, so I hope you'll join us and help to raise awareness for the many other adults and children out there who could possibly be feeling rather isolated as I once did, as they live with this condition.