Skydiving for my brother
16-year-old Ashleigh Simpson speaks with Young Epilepsy, a charity close to her heart, about why she is taking part in the Purple Day Skydive.
Epilepsy was never a part of my family’s life, until my brother, Kevin, was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 13. Now, 18, he lives with focal, tonic clonic and nocturnal seizures and often experiences auras, which give him a 30 second warning before he has a seizure.
We never understood how much epilepsy would affect not just my brother’s life but also the life of our family.
Young Epilepsy have been a massive help to all of us from the earlier days when my mum spoke with the helpline to get more information, right up until now, where my brother now has access to a Regional Support Worker.
Dawn Oliver, Regional Support Worker at Young Epilepsy said:
I have worked with Kevin for six months and can see a vast improvement from within himself.
The programme, which operates in Hampshire and London, offers individuals like Kevin, support in areas such as housing, independence, personal and social skills and feelings of isolation.
Since Kevin joined the programme, I have noticed that he has grown in confidence and self-belief, so much so he is now working.
Since receiving support from Young Epilepsy, my brother has come on amazingly. He is less resentful and more open and honest about his condition. He has become more confident in his life compared to before, where he wouldn't go out and quit college after he couldn’t handle the whispers and multiple seizures. Kevin has now managed to get himself an apprenticeship, despite his recurrent seizures.
I have always wanted to do a skydive but now I have the ability to not only take part in something I have always wanted to do for a long time, but to also raise some massively important funds for a charity that does so much to create better futures for children and young people living with epilepsy.
We can't thank Young Epilepsy enough for the work they do and I hope you will help support this amazing charity with as little or as much as you can and to support me with some encouraging words in the run up to the day I take the plunge.
The skydive is a present for my 16th birthday which means 100% of what I raise will go to Young Epilepsy.