“Going to Camp EAGR changed Micahi’s life!”
This summer, when a doctor from the UR Medicine Epilepsy Center first suggested Camp EAGR for her son Micahi, Cynthia wondered if it would be too soon or too hard for him to see other kids having seizures. But when she mentioned camp to Micahi, he insisted that he wanted to go. And Cynthia could not believe what a positive change it would bring.
Micahi’s journey with epilepsy has not been a long one, but it has been challenging.
It begins early in the morning on September 19, 2020, when Cynthia heard Micahi cry out from his bedroom, “Somebody help me!” Cynthia rushed into the room to find her son, sitting up in bed and crying. His speech was slurred. She did not know what had happened, but gradually Micahi calmed down, his speech returned to normal, and everything seemed fine.
But Micahi had one of these episodes every seven days, and each was more severe. The third of the weekly seizures was the worst. Cynthia heard Micahi hit the floor. He had fallen between his bed and the wall. He was having a tonic-clonic seizure, and his head banged into the wall over and over. Cynthia couldn’t move the heavy bed to get him out, and so she did the only thing she could think of: she laid across the bed, put her hand in-between his head and the wall to protect him, and called 911.
During his third trip to the hospital, Micahi was officially diagnosed with epilepsy. After a few tries with different medications, the seizures have subsided, and the medication side effects seem manageable.
Cynthia describes Micahi as an introvert. He did not have many friends outside of online gaming. When Cynthia picked Micahi up at the end of the week at Camp EAGR, in typical teenage style he only said “I liked it.” But as soon as he returned home, he got his phone and put in the names and phone numbers of seven friends from camp.
“It brought tears to my eyes. Micahi has been working with his therapist to improve his social skills and express himself for so long. Going to camp changed all that!”
“Life for a teenager is already difficult,” explains Michael Radell, camp director. “It can be isolating for a kid to discover they have epilepsy. But when they come to camp EAGR, they find that everyone here just gets it. They’re not alone. They can make friends that can last a lifetime.”
EPI serves children, adults, and families affected by epilepsy and other neurological health conditions and disabilities in Upstate New York. Many of our programs, like support groups, education, or Camp EAGR – the only sleep-away, week-long camp for children with epilepsy – rely solely on the generosity of our supporters to exist. This is why your gifts are so important to our organization and the people we serve. Your donation will allow EPI to continue to offer kids like Micahi the opportunity to build confidence, make lifelong friends, and be able to just be kids!
Please consider setting up a recurring gift or donating online!
Learn More about Epilepsy