Claudia Cooley

meghan kennedy

Like many military children, Meghan Kennedy had to face the challenges of moving,

making new friends, and going to new schools; however, her biggest challenge in

life—being diagnosed with epilepsy at age 18—has been what has made her the

strongest. She has had to overcome many challenges from living without a license,

starting a new career and moving to California and, unfortunately, the general fears

and stigma associated with epilepsy. Instead of hiding things, she has become

proactive in educating the public by talking with the community.

Since her diagnosis in November 1986, she has been prescribed several epilepsy

medications; dealt with numerous side effects; participated in a clinical trial; made

multiple lifestyle changes—especially those incurred when suffering the loss of her

driving privileges; and, on one occasion, awoke in an emergency room due to a

seizure during an airplane flight. She has made transitions as needed to continue

living life positively despite the challenges of epilepsy.

As a former librarian, she has a passion for research and education. Her research

about the history of epilepsy is currently focused on Craig Colony, the 2nd colony for

epileptics that existed in the United States.

The combination of her passion for education, epilepsy, and community service led

her to develop Epilepsy Education Everywhere in 2011. Educating the public about

epilepsy is the primary goal for her organization. With the help of volunteers, Epilepsy

Education Everywhere has already implemented the Purple Proclamation Project,

Signs Up for Epilepsy, a website, a Facebook page which typically reaches 5,000-

10,000 monthly, participates in health fairs and other speaking opportunities, is a

member of the Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative, and hosts Amethyst, a bi-

monthly e-newsletter.

Epilepsy Education Everywhere partnered with Dr. Diane Stein and multiple epilepsy

organizations around the United States in 2013 for the first ever Epilepsy Awareness

Day at Disneyland, now an annual event bringing the epilepsy community together,

and has been an official partner for Purple Day® joining the Anita Kaufmann

Foundation and organizations worldwide to continue to raise awareness and

education about epilepsy. The organization will be expanding its services this year by

adding a speaker series and MeetUp groups for people with epilepsy.

When she is not advocating, Meghan enjoys traveling, Cribbage, movies, and

ballroom dancing. She resides in Moreno Valley, California.

November 20, 2014
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