- Please tell us why you are involved in the Epilepsy community? Do you have Epilepsy?
I have been involved in the Epilepsy community since I was about 13 years old. I was diagnosed when I was 12 and attended Camp Great Rock -- a camp for kids and teens with epilepsy -- the following summer. The counselors and staff really inspired me to get involved, raise awareness and not be embarrassed about having epilepsy. I'm glad they caught me at that age because I was already dealing with mean girls at school so my diagnosis was yet another hurdle to overcome. I went on to speak on panels on behalf of the Epilepsy Foundation, raise funds for Children's Hospital, start an epilepsy awareness club in undergrad and attend the Walk for Epilepsy in D.C. with my family sporadically throughout my undergraduate and graduate careers.
- Why are you involved in spreading information about Epilepsy on social media platforms?
Social media is perhaps the easiest way to disseminate information these days. When I see new facts or articles that debunk myths about epilepsy, I immediately retweet them. I am involved in spreading information in order to promote understanding. Epilepsy is far more common than people think. I notice that there really isn't a well-known face for our cause and with my platform in television I hope to be that person one day. It's very important to me to have someone represent epilepsy awareness campaigns who has actually physically dealt with the disorder and can empathize with the millions of people who experience seizures.
- What interesting research, tips, recipes, or story can you share with our Epilepsy Community?
When I was 18 years old, former NFL player turned reporter Tiki Barber came to Camp Great Rock and interviewed me along with other members of the camp for a story for NBC Nightly News. That was amazing to be a part of because that was my first real taste of being on camera and seeing epilepsy exposed on a greater scale. I've always wanted to be a broadcast journalist so being included in that story and speaking about something so personal was an unparalleled experience.