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Ann Marie Gillie

Epilepsy Advocate, Canada

Title: A voice for epilepsy

Biography

Biography: Ann Marie Gillie

Abstract

Being diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of two and half years definitely created several obstacles for myself and my family, but being stubborn as well as positive individual that I am, I was able to get through it. I actually beat Epilepsy. On December 03, 2002 my life was changed forever when I underwent neurosurgery at University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. My surgery was called Left Selective Amygdalohippocampectomy and the procedure was a 100% success. I had six grand mal seizures two days before my surgery and never imagined that those would be my last. I have been off all medications now for over 11 years and that too is an amazing accomplishment and feeling. My history with Epilepsy was like a roller coaster, on meds, off meds, side effects, seizures, no seizures; it was a never ending series of hurtles, but I stayed focused and survived it. I was never in special need classes, I played sports and told that I have an infectious personality, so I am regularly told. Since my surgery in 2002, I have accomplished some amazing tasks and ones I thought would never have been possible. I have published two books have had several articles published in papers and magazines, as well as international medical sites like SNI (Surgical Neurology International) and CURE. My number one goal is to educate others around the world, but not from a professional side of things but from someone that has lived it and that understands the obstacles others go through that live with Epilepsy. From my understanding, there are not a lot of individuals that speak on the topic of Epilepsy, locally or internationally and I want to change that. I have been a people’s person for my whole life and I feel that there was a reason I am here today speaking about my story. Epilepsy needs to be talked about and I am the one to do that. I want to be that Voice for Epilepsy.