Catherine was first diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 19 years old, after being referred to a neurologist by her psychiatrist. She experiences absence and focal (partial) seizures.
“I had been having seizures since I was 8, but my GP kept telling my parents and I that they were growing pains.”
Working as a volunteer at the Australian Museum, Catherine has been unable to work full-time due to her condition. This has meant that she has been unable to establish the career she wanted. In addition, living with epilepsy has impacted Catherine’s desire to have children, as well as her ability to drive due to the unpredictability of a seizure onset.
“I am always tired and have a terrible short-term memory, which I have to take into consideration in my day-to-day life. I want people to realise that epilepsy is not just seizures and that the side-effects of medications and other symptoms can be truly debilitating.”
In her spare time, Catherine enjoys travelling, visiting museums and immersing herself in history and nature, while also enjoying the occasional Disney flick.
The Epilepsy Foundation has proven to be a reliable resource for Catherine in learning about epilepsy and finding additional support.
“I found the Epilepsy Foundation through Instagram. I have learned so much about epilepsy, but more importantly knowing the support is there for me and I am not alone has been wonderful.”
You and your organisation can help support people like Catherine by participating in Make March Purple. There are lots of ways to get involved, including creating your own fundraising page, making a donation or hosting an event.
All proceeds will be donated to support services for Australians with epilepsy.