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Teen author Bella Bauer shares journey with epilepsy and advocates for awareness

I Love To Read: The ABC’s of Epilepsy

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Bella Bauer, author of “ABCs of Epilepsy” is on a mission to inspire and educate others.

Diagnosed with epilepsy in the fifth grade, Bella’s journey has been marked by challenges, but also by resilience and determination. In a recent “I Love to Read” interview, she shared her story and discussed her upcoming projects aimed at breaking the stigma surrounding epilepsy.

“I was diagnosed in the fifth grade, I had my very first grand mal seizure in front of my entire class. So, that was a really scary time. And at that point, I really didn’t know what epilepsy was or what that looked like. So, I felt really alone,” Bauer said.

However, Bella refused to let epilepsy define her. With the support of her family and medical professionals, she pursued her passions, particularly dance, despite initial discouragement from a doctor.

“I didn’t allow that to stop me,” Bauer affirmed.

“My faith was something that really helped me in my journey,” she shared. “Knowing that the Lord has me and then I can put my trust in him… is always good for my life.”

In her book “ABCs of Epilepsy,” Bella shares her personal story and aims to empower others facing similar challenges.

“I wanted to show that I’m not different and that I can overcome adversity,” she explained. “I’m going to be a living example to all of our children who have a diagnosis of epilepsy to know that it doesn’t define who they are as a person,” she said.

Looking ahead, Bella is working on her second book, which focuses on seizure safety and supporting individuals with epilepsy.

“Within that, we’re talking about seizure first aid, seizure safety, how you can be a good friend or family member to someone who has a diagnosis of epilepsy,” she revealed. “I think that’s something really important in breaking that stigma,” she said.

Through her Purple Project, Bella aims to educate and empower individuals with epilepsy and the broader community.

“My goal with the Purple Project is to educate and empower other children and teens with epilepsy to understand and empower themselves with knowledge about their diagnosis,” she explained. “The more we can educate and empower others, the greater the chance we decrease the stigma associated with epilepsy,” she said.

Epilepsy affects approximately 3.4 million people in the United States, according to the CDC. Seizures, a hallmark of epilepsy, can manifest in various ways and require timely intervention. Bella emphasizes the importance of awareness and preparedness in responding to seizures, noting that a seizure lasting longer than five minutes is considered a medical emergency.