I am currently on my semester abroad in Japan. Since I have been here, I have met some really amazing people and made some friends for life. One of those people happens to have been diagnosed with Epilepsy whilst she has been on her year abroad here. Despite the diagnosis she has done incredibly well. She has accomplished so many things and travelled on her own to so many places even though it might pose a risk to her health; she doesn’t want her diagnosis to define her.
I'm sure it is hard enough to be having to deal with the diagnosis at home in England but she has had to deal with all of this in Japanese hospitals and in Japanese. Any mention of disability in Japan is considered taboo let alone having one. There is a huge 'culture of shame' around anything to do with disability and my friend has had to deal with this on her own without the direct support of her family.
I have been inspired by her attitude towards life, towards everything. She has taught me so much about the condition, facts that she is only beginning to learn herself. In recognition of her accomplishments and struggles I wanted to raise some money for the Epilepsy Society by climbing Mt Fuji whilst I am here.
I am planning on doing the whole trek from the 5th station to the summit around the 11th July with another friend.
Anyone can develop epilepsy at any age and can be a life changing diagnosis. Epilepsy Society ensures everyone has the best possible chance at accurate diagnosis, treatment and personal support.
For more information about epilepsy and Epilepsy Society: https://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk