We recently held our 2017-2018 Annual Meeting at our offices for our transition of the Board of Directors and Professional Advisory Board. Also part of our Annual Meeting is our Client Award presentation. Our Client Award is presented annually to an Epilepsy Association client who has made significant achievements in overcoming issues related to having epilepsy. The 2018 Client Award recipient is Carolyn. Read more about Carolyn’s story and success below.
Carolyn is a native of Cleveland and grew up in the area. She has had a long and challenging struggle with epilepsy throughout her life, beginning in elementary school when she had her first seizure and was diagnosed with the disorder. Attending school as a child with frequent seizures was extremely difficult for Carolyn, and despite being on medication, she continued to struggle with the stress and anxiety of unpredictable seizures and living during a time when epilepsy was even less understood than it is today.
As an adult, Carolyn was still struggling to independently manage her epilepsy and mental health concerns which interfered with her ability to care for herself. She came to the agency for case management services 15 years ago and was seeking out services that would help her be able to learn skills to better manage these issues and gain some stabilization in her life. At the time, Carolyn was homeless and needed support in finding appropriate housing that addressed all of her needs. She worked with Linda, one of our case managers, who was able to help her get housing situated and begin to build a relationship that would be trusting, supportive and helpful. In addition to being connected with permanent housing so many years ago, Carolyn has learned many new skills as an open client to the agency. She has received crucial assistance to help her manage her daily life such as advocacy with medical providers, assistance with carrying out daily tasks, occasional crisis management, epilepsy and mental health education, and learning important coping and self-management skills. Carolyn’s feelings of loneliness have also decreased as a result of her receiving agency services because she is able to feel supported and heard and can reach out to her case manager when she needs guidance.
Recently, Carolyn has made some great strides in her ability to step outside of her comfort zone and participate in some new programs as a result of her growing confidence. She agreed to participate in the Community TIME program at Epilepsy Association where she learned new skills for epilepsy self-management and well-being. She also spoke with first-year medical students from Case Western Reserve University who come to our agency as a part of their first-year field experience. She shared valuable insight and information from a patient perspective as a person living with chronic conditions. Being able to speak as an advocate for herself and share her own experiences about her epilepsy and mental health is a huge step for Carolyn, and we are very proud of the progress she has made. Congratulations Carolyn for your award and success over the years!
“Receiving services continues to help me feel supported and cared about.”- Carolyn