One Special Day

On Saturday 8th September our Epilepsy Connections Annual General Meeting took place in the ravishing surroundings of the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow.

The event is an opportunity to celebrate all our achievements and accomplishments for people living with epilepsy and also to recognize those people in the community who have made an impressive and influential difference through the Epilepsy Connections Volunteering Awards.

I am honoured to have been acknowledged for an award, in recognition of my achievements, rasing awareness of Epilepsy.

I was in considerable outstanding company, as Carol McNeil and Ros Carmichael were highly rewarded for their exceptional approaches and achievements to volunteering within the organisation, and very well deserved.

It was a complete surprise and shock to myself, to learn that i was going to receive an award at the event. My volunteer coordinator Scott Coyne, announced the exciting news to myself a few months prior to the ceremony, all i could think, really? Seriously? Why me?

The ambience of the stunning hotel greatly added to the sense of the day’s occasion. It was also a pleasure and a fantastic opportunity to bring staff, board members and volunteers together from all our diverse and various projects, from Ayrshire and Arran, to Forth Vally, Falkirk District and Clackmannanshire, through to greater Glasgow and Clyde, it doesn’t happen very often.

We were joined by professional guest speakers.

Dr Linda Stephen, (Associate Epilepsy Specialist) who highlighted issues faced by women, Epilepsy and their treatment options, which included essential information regarding Epilepsy and hormones, puberty, contraception, pregnancy and the menopause.

An update presentation from Dr Stewart Macleod (Consultant Paediatric Neurologist) with detailed information regarding the use of Cannabinoids in Epilepsy.

I enjoyed both presentations, they were extremely effective, engaging and thought provoking.

Linda outlined and discussed various issues that are important to women. Her presentation was constructive and worthwhile, there is lots to deal with when diagnosed with Epilepsy but if your a women there’s a lot more to contemplate, most women don’t realise this. Impact of hormones and what that means for your seizure control, choosing the correct seizure medication that is appropriate for you, contraception, pregnancy, parenting, The menopause and the list goes on.

This was a significant and informative session, that made women and also men aware of the consequences of Epilepsy and medications within their bodies.

Dr Stewart Macleods presentation on the use of cannabinol in Epilepsy was fascinating and momentous, giving lots of hope to individuals with treatment resultant Epilepsy including Dravet Syndrome and Lennox Gastaut Syndrome as there is a cannabinol product in development at the moment and potentially due for license next year.

Amazing and life changing news, it will have a dramatic effect on the individual and their families effected by this debilitating, chronic and unpredictable condition.

I have given my certificate pride of place in my living room, where it attracts lots of attention, and it certainly has raised our organisations profile. I was moved and i couldn’t quite believe the amount of people who came up to me on the day and congratulated me. I am still receiving beautiful messages of congratulations and kindness a few weeks on, i am truly overwhelmed.

It’s a wonderful way to show appreciation and gratitude to volunteers for all of their efforts and contributions to the organisation, thank you Epilepsy Connections.

I am delighted and surprised to have been chosen as a volunteer award winner 2018, after all there is so many exceptional volunteers within Epilepsy Connections.

I am passionate and have so much enthusiasm regarding providing care and support to individuals of all ages who are living with Epilepsy. I am touched to be acknowledged for a voluntary role that i absolutely love and dedicated to.

Thank you and congratulations to everyone at Epilepsy Connections for running such an innovative and successful Annual General Meeting.

Steven Connelly

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