Jan 25, 2021
Like 3.4 million people in the U.S., Laine Richards has active epilepsy and faces the daily challenges of this commonly - but also misunderstood - condition. People living with epilepsy are in the constant state of the in-between - an anxious juggling game of seizure activity, recovery, and wondering when the next episode will occur. During a seizure, patients can experience a wide range of symptoms that can include loss of consciousness, inability to swallow, tremors, and rigid or tense muscles. Regardless of the severity of their disease, epilepsy can be incredibly frightening for patients and their caregivers.
Laine has been inspired to help others in her shoes. She has been to Capitol Hill to speak with members of Congress about the importance of epilepsy research and funding, and for the past four years, she has represented the state of Michigan with the Epilepsy Foundation of America’s “Teens Speak Up!” program. She is a freshman at Grand Valley State University and plans to advocate for greater accessibility on campus while pursuing her dream of becoming a special education teacher.
Laine talks about her misdiagnosis with ADHD as a child and then finally getting the correct diagnosis of Epilepsy. There are numerous types of seizures that people can have, and they affect everyone differently so it’s important to talk to your doctor and get a proper diagnosis. Laine opens up about explaining epilepsy to roommates and friends to create clear communications of what to expect in the case of a seizure.