Marjorie’s Story

2021 Educational Enrichment Fund Scholar - University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine

After suffering a traumatic brain injury due to a car accident during my senior year of high school, I began experiencing strange sensations that I did not know how to describe. Doctors kept telling me I just needed to rest, but the feelings persisted. On the last day of my senior year, I finally got my answer. The sensations evolved into a generalized seizure and a doctor in the emergency room had to give me a crash course on epilepsy.

I was terrified of how my new condition would affect my life and future, especially since I was supposed to start college in just a few months. Then, I met an incredible neurologist who helped me see that I am much more than my diagnosis. He assured me he would do everything he could to help me overcome this challenge. As I went through different treatments and medications trying to find the one that would work for me, the care and dedication my neurologist demonstrated made me realize that medicine is not just about illnesses and treatments – it is about people. This began my love of medicine and inspired my desire to make others feel heard in the same way that my neurologist did for me.

My work in the epilepsy community began when I started volunteering with the Epilepsy Services Foundation in Tampa. I began mentoring middle and high school students with epilepsy and helping them to connect with others facing similar challenges as themselves. This inspired me to further my involvement with the epilepsy community, and I was given the opportunity to join the board and become the chair of volunteerism of the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida. This organization and the other members of the board inspired me, and I decided I wanted to expand my impact as an “agent of change” in the epilepsy community.

I began the first-ever collegiate chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation at FSU and found that many people were excited about this opportunity. Because of this, I worked with others to connect with students at USF in Tampa and began a collegiate chapter at their school too. Our organizations have since hosted seizure first-aid certification courses, organized fundraisers, and hosted seminars on various topics related to epilepsy. After becoming a certified seizure first-aid instructor last year, I have been able to certify more than a hundred individuals. Being able to spread awareness and advocate for people with epilepsy within my community has been incredible, and I know I will never stop doing this.

This scholarship will help me to expand my impact as an “agent of change” by realizing my goal of becoming a physician and bettering the lives of individuals like me who are living with life-changing medical conditions. I would be immensely grateful for the support of CURE Epilepsy and know that I would work to make this organization proud to have chosen me as a recipient.


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