Epilepsy Association of Utah

Month: September 2014

Community Service Awards

Black and White and Red and Purple and Teal and
Orange, The Community Service awards were all the colors of a rainbow! And
twice as beautiful. Led by Gene Kennedy and rocked by Craig Chambers, the
evening was filled with appreciation, dancing and a fabulous amount of
beautiful people being acknowledged for their fantastic efforts. Established to
recognize those people and entities within Utah who advance the cause of
epilepsy awareness and understanding, the 2nd Annual Community
Service awards were held at Adobe in Lehi with 100 in attendance at the Black
and White event.

Pictures soon, but until then, check out our amazing award recipients:
Results are presented by category. 
Medical Professional:

Dr. Francis Filloux – MD of the Year
Dr. Denise Morita – President’s Award for Outstanding Medical Professional
Dr. Matthew Sweney – President’s Award for Outstanding Medical Professional
Kim Orton – President’s Award for Outstanding Medical Professional

Volunteer Group:

Hope 4 Children With Epilepsy – Volunteer Group of the Year
Laps for Lyndsay
President’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer Group
Utah Kids
President’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer Group
Purple Dash 5K
Purple Star Award for Outstanding Volunteer Group


Keri Beardall – Volunteer of the Year
Christine Ferrin – President’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer
David and Judy Hultgren- President’s Award for Outstanding Volunteers
Cameron May – Purple Star Award for Outstanding Volunteer
Jenn Whiting – Purple Star Award for Outstanding Volunteer
April Sintz – People’s Choice Award

Youth Volunteer:

Rachel Hair – Youth Volunteer of the Year
Taylor Maughan – President’s Award for Outstanding Youth Volunteer
Demi Sintz – President’s Award for Outstanding Youth Volunteer
Makayla May – Purple Star Award for Outstanding Youth Volunteer


Laura Warburton – Advocate of the Year
Emilie Campbell – President’s Award for Outstanding Advocate
Lulu Hammond – President’s Award for Outstanding Advocate
Charlie and Mandy Lynch – President’s Award for Outstanding Advocate
Sarah Nitta – Purple Star Award for Outstanding Advocate
Holly Ferrin – People’s Choice Award
Syndi Knowlton – People’s Choice Award
Glenn and Annette Maughan – People’s Choice Award
Jennifer May – People’s Choice Award
April Sintz – People’s Choice Award

Youth Advocate:

Demi Sintz – Youth Advocate of the Year
Savannah Spacil – President’s Award for Outstanding Youth Advocate
Jaime Chadwick – President’s Award for Outstanding Youth Advocate
Bertrand Might – Purple Star Award for Outstanding Youth Advocate

Commercial Partner:

Living Planet Aquarium – Commercial Partner of the Year
Adobe Systems – President’s Award for Outstanding Commercial Partner
National Ability Center – President’s Award for Outstanding Commercial Partner
Futura Industries – Prurple Star Award for Outstanding Commercial Partner
Lundbeck – Purple Star Award for Outstanding Commercial Partner
MassMutual SpecialCare – Purple Star Award for Outstanding Commercial Partner

Keystone Award:

Senator Patricia Jones
Representative Marie Poulson
Representative Paul Ray
Senator Steve Urquhart

Dedicated Service Award:

Janis Hardy
Charlee Nelson

Charlee Award

Representative Gage Froerer

Person of the Year

Laura Warburton

Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Steve White

Seize: The Story – Taylor Ferguson

Monday, September 1, 2014

Seize:  The Story – Taylor Ferguson
knew I was having seizures, not even my parents. I just thought I was having
blackouts as I would call them, until I went to my guitar lesson and had one of
my “blackouts”.  My guitar
teacher worked with epileptics so she knew I had just had a seizure.  I remember peeking around the corner and
wondering why my guitar teacher was at my house, what they were talking about
and why my mom was crying?  We then took
a visit to a doctor’s office…it was true, I had epilepsy, but at the age of
nine I had never heard of epilepsy before, so I just thought it was like the
flu and would go away.  The day I
realized it wouldn’t go away I cried myself to sleep.

School was
hard!  I lost almost all of my friends
because they thought I was “contagious” and when I explained to (my
at the time best friend) that I wasn’t she just said “okay” and
walked away.  See if you were friends
with me you couldn’t be popular.  It took
me awhile to really realize what happened with my best friend; at the time
everything was crashing in on me.  I got
made fun of all the time; it was so bad my mom put me in home hospital.  When I was having a lot of seizures I would
be home with a tutor but when they would get under control I would go back to
normal school.  I then went to a charter
school in eighth grade just so I could get away from all the kids that knew
about my epilepsy and would make fun of me. 
When I was sixteen I had brain surgery and had a piece of the brain
removed to try and stop my seizures, so I was out of school my sophomore year.
I then went back to school my junior year of high school.  But with only the people from my elementary
knowing me, well you would think high school kids would be more mature, no some
of them still made their stabs at me I was just not as affected by it and knew
how to stand up for myself.

About two
years after my brain surgery I was going to get my driver’s license, the day
before I was going to take the driver’s test I had another seizure.    My
parent’s and I started looking into other options. We then decided to have a
VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulator) implanted. 
We decided to have the VNS surgery (which is a device like a pace maker
that is hooked to the vagus nerve and sends shock waves through my brain every
3 minutes for 30 seconds to try to stop or lessen the severity of my seizures
or after affects), about six months to a year later the VNS stopped working and
I gave up all hope.  Nothing had worked and
there was nothing left to do; pills didn’t work and there was no surgery left.

I never
thought that I would get married because of my epilepsy but when I was twenty
one I found the greatest guy in the world, who loved me for me and didn’t care
that I had epilepsy like a lot of the other guys out there.  So he proposed and I said “yes” and
we were married about six months later. A little while later I got pregnant and
I had an ectopic pregnancy (where the baby is growing in the Fallopian tube),
but two years later I got pregnant again and had a daughter in May 2014.

Granted I
have been talking about my epilepsy, so it hasn’t been the best of memories. My
life hasn’t been all bad.  I have an
amazing family, daughter, husband, and friends, have had awesome vacations to
Bear Lake, Pinedale, Disney World/Florida, Disney Land, Island Park and many
more.  I have had a great life with many
bad experiences but I wouldn’t take them back for anything because they have
made me who I am today. 

I hope this
helps someone out there in some way!

Taylor A. Zobell Ferguson