Linda Andersen wrote -
Behind The Smile
What do you see when you look at me? A person or a disability? I know I live within this home, but my hopes and dreams are still my own. Although they're locked inside my head, it doesn't mean that they are dead. I'd like the same as any of you, I'm capable of choices too. Many people quietly say, it would be much kinder if they were locked away. Then we'd be safe as we walked the street and ensure that everything is neat. To them we say, "We have rights too. There, but for the Grace of God, go you." We will not go quietly into the night, but we'll stay and be counted, here in the light. We hope the message will sink home. Just treat us as you would your own and look beyond the disability, because there, behind the smile is me...(Rob Erskine)
I'm a stay at home Mom, caring for my 42 year old son, Jason, who started seizuring in 1971 and continues to seizure on a daily basis despite medications, brain surgery and VNS implant. As a family that struggles with the stress, frustrations and heartache of living with a loved one with uncontroled Epilepsy, I was happy to find CURE...Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for epilepsy by raising funds for research and by increasing awareness of the prevalence and devastation of this disease....www.cureepilepsy.org/home
I am hoping to raise AT LEAST $1971 for CURE. Epilepsy affects over 50 million people of all ages – more than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and Parkinson’s disease COMBINED. Almost 500 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed every day in the U.S. alone. Epilepsy claims more lives each year than breast cancer. Despite all of this, funding for epilepsy research lags significantly behind other diseases.
My son Jason, is never one to complain, about anything. In fact over the years one of the things he has often said to others is, "You can choose to be happy or sad. I choose happy". Wonderful, simple advice from someone who certainly has reason to complain, but just smiles, instead. So, if Jason can still smile and choose happy after 40 years of seizures, I certainly can step out of my comfort zone, take a deep breath and be an advocate and a fundraiser for research for those, who like my Jason, live with Epilepsy.
Please remember, " One Small Act of Kindness Can Send a Ripple Thru the Universe."