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A Submitted Story: Karima Panjwani

Most people don’t consider epilepsy as part of their identity – it’s a medical condition which they have, and it sucks.

Everyone has always known me as the “epileptic” because of my ability to embrace my disability. From conferences, to commercials, to newspapers, to jobs – I’ve done it all and continue to help others come out of their shadow.

As a child growing up with epilepsy, my mother always told me never to tell anyone. When I did, it caused MANY misunderstandings. I recall of one boy who would fake seizures; I simply ignored the issue. People saw me as “diseased” and I was referred to as the “epileptic”. It was not until high school where I started self-advocating; I wanted others to be educated so I came out of my shadow.

Having epilepsy helped me discover my passion to work with individuals who were different. No matter how much I think epilepsy doesn’t affect me, it does, and I accept that. I continue to promote events such as purple day as well as get my colleagues and peers involved in learning about epilepsy. As I continue to grow, in my faith, my work, my abilities, I will constantly be reminded of having epilepsy; it does suck but when I look back at all that I’ve accomplished, I remember that if I didn’t have it, my life would be different and I wouldn’t be where I am today. Epilepsy is just living proof that I have a brain – what’s your proof?

Karima Panjwani

  • Lia Turner - 3 years ago

    Hi there Karima,

    I find your story of self advocacy so inspiring! I love to hear about others who are just as determined to help themselves and others live with this disability, it is so important that we all band together on this very important task. I am so grateful that you chose to share your story on this site!