Aydin’s Courage: Help Uplift Lives Through Epilepsy Empowerment

March 26, 2024

Empower Aydin.

Imagine facing the world with 100 daily seizures, navigating through the uncertainty of 10 different medications, and enduring the hopes and disappointments of numerous treatments–all before turning 16. This is Aydin’s reality. But it’s not what defines him; it’s his unyielding courage and advocacy for epilepsy awareness that makes him a true inspiration.

At 11 years old, Aydin bravely shared his experience being bullied at school: “It was grade three when someone started bullying me. They were calling me a “spaz” and “seizure boy” and somebody pretended to have a seizure…things would be a lot different knowing that I could go to school without constantly being bullied by people because of my epilepsy.”

Aydin is now 16 years old and continues to advocate for himself and those in the epilepsy community. Despite the relentless challenges, including a rare diagnosis of Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome at 12 years old and the shadow of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy), Aydin tries to find ways to cope with the mental health challenges that often accompany living with epilepsy. Last year, he wrote and recorded a song to help process his daily struggles with the disease, but he also is looking for more community support to know he is not alone. Watch this video to hear directly from Aydin and his mom, Melike. His story is a powerful reminder of the invisible battles many face, the crucial need for increased mental health support and the profound impact we can have by offering our support.

March 26th is Purple Day, our national day for Epilepsy Awareness! We invite you to join us in making a tangible difference in the lives of adults and youth navigating stigma and mental health challenges in their journey with epilepsy. By joining our Epilepsy Empowerment Giving Circle with a monthly contribution of just $25 (less than $1 a day!), you can provide sustainable support for our mental health program PROJECT UPLIFT and make it possible for us to take the next crucial steps forward in creating a youth-adapted version, tailored to empower young individuals like Aydin. Your generosity today will help us reach our goal of $3,000/year to sustainably run an annual 8-week session of UPLIFT and help move us towards adapting this vital program for youth, providing them with the unique support and resources they deserve.

Aydin’s story is a call to action. Having to move between 4 different schools and enduring countless hospital stays, his journey highlights the urgent need for specialized epilepsy support services. Your monthly gift ensures that no young person has to face epilepsy alone. It’s more than a donation; it’s a pledge to stand with those battling epilepsy, offering them hope and empowerment.

We are 10 monthly supporters away from transforming the lives of many. Will you be one of the remarkable individuals to answer this call? Join our Epilepsy Empowerment Giving Circle today and light a path of hope for those like Aydin.

Every gift brings us closer to a world where epilepsy is not a barrier to a fulfilled life. The initial North American pilot of Project UPLIFT found that UPLIFT participants had improved depression, anxiety, and psychological quality of life – even a full year after they finished the program. Join us in making this vision a reality for Aydin and so many others in our community by becoming a monthly supporter today.