Denise Pease

“The more I meet people and speak about epilepsy, the more I realize that my experience with the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy is not unique. I am glad to know that the Epilepsy Foundation is there providing the information and services that people need.”


Denise Pease

webs A Beast resides within 
When the Beast awakens, it writhes 
Craving barbaric loss, weakness, and blood 
I am well-acquainted with this Beast for it resides within me 
In this precious passage of time, the Beast has woken me-left me bruised, bloodied, meek 
One particular dawn came, casting pink strips of light across the darkness of the Beast 
Then it came upon me 
The Beast does not define me 
It is strong, but I am strong-willed 
It is fast-acting, but I am fast-thinking 
I turn sun-ward 
I leave the Beast to clench its teeth
For the Beast does not define me 

Article submitted by Danny Rosenfeld, NCPA Advisory Committee Member


As someone who has lived with epilepsy for almost 17 years, my life has been filled with experiences that no one should have to endure.

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The Art of Being a Bully by Sarah Elizabeth Gomez

sarah elizabeth gomez 

The art of being a teen is one of the most challenging feats a human can undergo. And only few make it to say they were successful in NOT getting into deep trouble. We’re mere guinea pigs to society and the ever-changing styles and moods of the generation. “We’re the future,” as many so carelessly put it. But the weight of that mammoth and commanding statement lies on our meek, weak and fledgling shoulders. Every teenager experiences a dramatic impact when realizing life isn’t so quaint, an epiphany after getting drunk your first time, and a hardy cry after having your heart shattered into pieces; from the first zit to the last bit of peach fuzz on your face… IT’S WAR.

But in the end, we teenagers differ from each other in one way. And it has all to do with how we deal with the challenges of adolescence and the plagues it brings us. Some of us hide away in the nooks and cracks of hallways, devouring books that help us escape the cruel world. Others enjoy the good life of popularity and feed off the people that swoon over them. Then there are the ones who consume the fear they produce; they would be known as “the bully”.

The definition of a bully states: A person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker. The second states: corned beef. Although the second definition does bring chuckles, the first brings a feeling of utter discomfort. They target the unique. They target the ones in solitude. They target the ones who hold strong beliefs close to their hearts, and they target the vulnerable, because they themselves have been targeted. Whether it’s at school, home or their neighborhoods, these bullies are the product of violence and insecurities gone unchecked and unresolved. The bully needs just as much help as do the victims. The bully must be identified as such and the root cause of the need to oppress in order to feel safe and empowered must be treated.

There are always two sides to a story. One prime example is a story that I fell in love with as a child. The Wizard of Oz was a vice to my imagination. The bright eyed, youthful and naïve little girl Dorothy played the hero to her own tale, along with what would be considered the GOOD witch, Glinda and the BAD witch, The Wicked Witch of the West. Yet, decades later a writer would soon change opinions and would make readers doubt the truth behind L. Frank Baum’s original story. Gregory Maguire created “the other side of the story”. The Wicked Witch of the West had obvious issues too, and a plausible reason for her being so green and so wicked.

Although these bullies are as wicked as the original L. Frank Baum’s interpretation of that timeless green antagonist, they can be just as human as Gregory Maguire’s thoughtful protagonist. So the real question is who else is being bullied besides the alleged victim? You, adults very well know that being a teenager isn’t a walk in the park, God, I wish it was. And you, teens very well know we’re soldiers and knights fighting the everyday battles of adolescence. Wondering if we will be bully or victim?

Link to essay

A Poem By Nicholas Fuerte

Nick FuerteSome of you may have read this poem written by High School student Nick Fuerte and posted on EFOF’s Facebook page; it’s exceptional and insightful, well worth posting again and again and again. The poem comes as a result of an assignment for Nick's High School Hospital Homebound English class, in which Nick's teacher asked the students to write a freestyle poem about a memory. This is what Nick wrote....

My teacher asked me to write a poem,
A poem about a memory.
I chuckled a little at her request,
because my memories are so sketchy.
You see, I have seizures and they cause me to forget, where I've been and things I've done.
And then there are the medicines, that finish off the job.
I remember things in bits and pieces,
not whole stories or events.
Like snapshots in an album,
my life in pictures.
A favorite toy.
A childhood friend.
A girl I used to like.
A Christmas gift.
A summer swim.
My Mom's lasagna.
Playing with my sister and brother.
Both of my grandmothers who have passed away.
Snapshots of my 16 years, locked away inside of my head.
I know they're in there somewhere,
I try not to let it bother me, because I know that what my brain can't recall, My heart remembers.