Young Epilepsy have recently been working alongside Emmerdale on Liv's epilepsy storyline, to raise awareness of how epilepsy affects young people.
Epilepsy affects over 112,000 children and young people in the UK alone. It is often misunderstood and the significant impact it can have on a young person everyday can be life changing. There are many different types of seizure and the condition can have an ongoing effect on mental health, education, work and home life.
Young Epilepsy provides information and guidance to young people and their families, helping them come to terms with the challenges their condition can bring. The charity provides support to young people, including footballer Renell who collapsed just days before his 18th birthday and was later diagnosed with epilepsy.
“My Young Epilepsy support worker showed me that I was not alone and that there were so many young people with epilepsy. It’s never good to bottle up all those thoughts and feelings. You need someone there who is supporting you.”
Renell’s epilepsy is now well-managed and he has been able to return to the world of professional football. He continued:
“I had to find the strength to pull myself out of it, to show people you can achieve your dreams. That’s why I want to do so well in my football. I flipped my epilepsy into something positive.”
Mark Devlin, Chief Executive of Young Epilepsy, said:
“It has been fantastic to work with Emmerdale on Liv’s seizure storyline and we hope this will help shine a light on some the issues faced by young people living with epilepsy. There are many types of epilepsy, so the experience and symptoms will of course vary for individuals.
“Young Epilepsy promotes the right of all young people with epilepsy to have their voices heard and respected. We know that many want better support within our education and health services to help them manage the impact of the condition on their attainment and well-being. We also want to enable young people to join in conversations about facing epilepsy to raise awareness and reduce the isolation they can sometimes feel. No one should feel ashamed of talking about their epilepsy and seeking the right help or advice.”
Find out more about Renell’s story by visiting www.youngepilepsy.org.uk/renell