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Lia Turner’s Story

It may take a village to raise a child, but it can take a child to raise the awareness of the village.

In this poignant video, Lia Turner, a Burlington, Ont. teenager shares her personal story of living with epilepsy.

On this website, you will also find video interviews with others who have been inspired and uplifted by Lia’s courage, determination and positive spirit.

If you like this video, please comment, share it with others, and join the discussion. Help to raise awareness and end the stigma and prejudice about epilepsy.


  • Erin - 3 years ago

    You’re so brave and inspiring. Thanks for telling your story!

  • Michelle - 3 years ago

    What a beautiful video Lia, brought tears to my eyes. I am so proud. Aunt Michelle

  • Nicole - 3 years ago

    This is beautiful Lia, you are a wonderful person

  • Julie Clifrord - 3 years ago

    Your determination is admirable, your story moving and Echo is amazing!

  • Caitlin Dowie - 3 years ago

    So amazing Lia! You bring tears to my eyes. You’re an inspiration!

  • Allison Roberts - 3 years ago

    Lea. My daughter Samantha is 12, she rides also and she was diagnosed with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy today after experiencing daily absence seizures (not too sure of the name. We are brand new to this). She is scared and will be starting Keppra today. Any advice would be so appreciated, I am touched by your strength. Thanks. Allison Roberts

    • Lia Turner - 3 years ago

      Hello Allison,
      I am so thankful that you were able to share your story. Opening a discussion is very important. I have a few things that I think will help you…
      First of all, I experience absence seizures as well, and I know they can be scary. The biggest thing to do is to figure out what it is that will make you feel better after you experience one. For me, I like sitting in a quiet place and holding an icepack on my head. The cooling sensation helps “bring me back to reality”. Please tell your daughter that she is not alone, and that it is OK to be frightened, as it is a scary thing. However, she will get used to it, and she will develop techniques to deal with it.
      Second, I am on Keppra as well. Keppra is the third medication I have tried, and I have had many successes with it. While I am not seizure free, it has helped me decrease the frequency and severity of both my absence and tonic clonic seizures. However, I have always found that making sure you ask your pharmacy to get the “brand name” Keppra rather than the generic kind, every time you get your daughter’s prescription filled. Generic drugs (even though they are less expensive) are NOT the same as the brand name drug, and switching between the two when you pick up your drugs can be very stressful for the body and can cause seizures.
      Thirdly, if she is in school, educate her teachers. Many teachers do not know how to handle absence seizures (or any type of seizure for that matter.) So talk to your daughter’s principal, and schedule a meeting with the teachers that she may come in contact with on a daily basis. Bring reading materials, and fill out an action plan for them (something that they can go to for instructions, so your daughter can get the help that she needs if she ever has an experience at school.)
      Fourth, tell your daughter to KEEP RIDING. Do not give up. Riding has helped me through many things, and even if she has to take a step back and do more basic riding until she gains confidence, just keep going. It’s worth it. I promise.
      Fifthly, take some meditation classes, if you can. Go to a yoga studio or a wellness center and learn about meditation. Learning to quiet your mind can be an extremely helpful tool for your daughter.
      Sixth, have a chat with her friends. Chances are, they’ll want to help her, and a support network can be very important.
      Seventh, tell your daughter to not give up. Keep going. Make goals that are inspiring, and tell her that if I can do it, she can too. Tell her its OK to cry and be sad, but it’s important to be happy too. Tell her that this condition sucks, but she will get through it, and tell her to figure out something that she can do if she gets headaches to feel better (paint, write, walk, tan, shop, ride, read, laugh, watch tv, watch movies, email me, eat, whatever) because feeling good is something that she should strive for every day.
      And lastly, make friends with your epilepsy. It can teach you many things, just be open to the lessons. It is true that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and by the time she’s my age, she will be so strong.