She came, she saw and she conquered.
The mysterious illness of Julius Caesar lives on.
Sophomore Brianna Pettyjohn is celebrating National Epilepsy Awareness Month by educating others through social media in November because she has epilepsy, a brain disorder that causes seizures.
“Epilepsy is a challenge for people,” Pettyjohn said. “Epilepsy like is having a stalker or an imaginary friend who will never leave you alone.”
Brianna was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was two weeks old.
“I was a newborn,” Pettyjohn said. “It [seizures] was so bad. I was about to get a helmet”
Since then, Pettyjohn has had uncountable seizures.
“We never really kept count,” Pettyjohn said. “It’s hard with the types of seizures I have.”
Pettyjohn has Petit Mal, mentally absent, and Grand Mal, physically apparent, seizures.
“As I got older, the Grand Mal seizures were fewer and further in between,” Pettyjohn said. “When I hit puberty, I had more Petit Mal seizures.”
Pettyjohn’s sister, Haley Pettyjohn, also has epilepsy.
“I kind of felt like an outsider [when diagnosed],” Haley said. “It’s really scary for me and others out there that have epilepsy. It’s a challenge dealing with epilepsy and wondering if people are going to judge you for just having epilepsy.”
Educating others on epilepsy is Pettyjohn’s passion.
“You get scared when you see a person you love having a seizure,” Pettyjohn said. “Who is going to help me through my seizure? Does anyone really know the right facts?”
Pettyjohn encourages everyone to go to the official website for the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas, www.eftx.org.
“The Epilepsy Foundation of Texas has all the facts and ways to contact them,” Pettyjohn said. “And they can ask a person they know who has epilepsy questions.”
Every year, National Epilepsy Awareness Month is always special to Pettyjohn.
“It’s the time to show our support for everyone who has to live with epilepsy.” Pettyjohn said. “It’s people coming together to do something wonderful. Epilepsy can’t stop me from doing what I love.”