Roi’s Story

Determination and Perseverance

Roi Trawon is a man of many interests. He’s a math lover, currently pursuing
a master’s degree in statistics. He’s a runner who competed in the 2021
NYC marathon for Team CURE Epilepsy. And he’s a distinguished violinist
who won the Very Special Arts International Young Soloists Competition
for musicians with disabilities.

Roi first experienced twitching at age 10 while attending boarding school
in his native country of the Philippines. Looking back, he now recognizes
these twitches as absence, or petit mal, seizures, a diagnosis he didn’t
receive for several more years. Even as they progressed to a few times
a week, Roi didn’t think they were a big deal. It wasn’t until his parents
noticed him collapsing and dropping objects that Roi saw a neurologist,
who diagnosed him with epilepsy.

At first, Roi struggled to accept his diagnosis, given the unsettling way
epilepsy is often portrayed in the media. But his friends were supportive,
assuring him that he was a normal person who was free to live his life.
Determined to follow his dreams, Roi earned his bachelor’s degree in the
Philippines in 2016 at age 20 and then moved to the U.S. to study music.
Roi still experiences seizures but works hard to prevent them by taking
his medication, identifying his triggers, and staying as healthy as possible.
His many interests continue to take him to new places, introduce him to
new people, and help him find strength.