Marangaroo resident petitions for more funding for people with epilepsy

Marangaroo resident Renee Evans is doing a petition for funding to support people with epilepsy. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d491203
Marangaroo resident Renee Evans is doing a petition for funding to support people with epilepsy. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d491203

MARANGAROO resident Renee Evans is appealing for help to get signatures on a petition for epilepsy funding.

The petition asks for more funding for people with epilepsy for support groups, help getting jobs, medication costs and dietary needs and transportation.

Mrs Evans, who has had epilepsy for 26 years, wants to get 500 signatures on the petition by March 13 so it can be presented to Federal Parliament.

“Many people die of epilepsy every day yet it is never talked about and we receive very little funding,” she said.

“I did a petition hoping the government will realise how many of us are suffering and they reconsider looking at epilepsy as a disability.

“We desperately need support groups, service dogs, medical assistance, safe transport, education, more awareness, assistance getting jobs.”

Mrs Evans said she was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 14 after having her first grand mal seizure two days before her 14th birthday.

“I was put on medication they dramatically changed my personality, made me depressed, tired, gain weight,” she said.

“Going through all this at the worst time in high school, I ended up leaving school due to constant bullying from other students.”

Mrs Evans said she found it hard joining the work force as she struggled with the stress of seizures, could not drive, had no friends and moved out of home on her own without support for her epilepsy.

“I lost my father when I was 25 years old and at the time I was having three seizures a week,” she said.

“Every time I came to, my husband had to tell me my father had died and then I would have the flashbacks of his death.”

At the time she didn’t know anyone with epilepsy.

“Today I have many friends with epilepsy thanks to Facebook, but still I hear many kids are still struggling the same way I was,” Mrs Evans said.

“I get no government assistance; I pay for all my medications, vitamins, and as I am now on the ketogenic diet, food is a lot more expensive.”

Mrs Evans said the medication for epilepsy had side effects on bones, teeth, organs and hair, and there was also emotional stress caused by anxiety and fear of bullying.

Visit www.aph.gov.au to see the petition.