Stuart Watson, 39 from Howden in East Yorkshire, was so inspired by the support he received from our helpline that he decided to do a trek of the Great Glen Way in the Scottish Highlands and raise over £2500 for us.
Over the last few years, Stuart has contacted Epilepsy Society helpline when he has felt low. Stuart said: "I am impressed with the support they give to fellow sufferers and the research they do". Therefore, he has decided to "repay my debt", test himself and raise some money to help support the services Epilepsy Society provides and the work that we do. He feels a "sense of achievement" in completing the trek and tells as many people as he can about it.
Stuart tackled the extensive walk with his friend from 28 July to 4 August and ended up walking almost 89 miles over the course of eight days. They took both the high routes and a few detours in search of wild campsites, which meant that they did almost 10 miles more than was planned. He "thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience", but looking back, felt the week went pretty quickly.
Stuart was surprised at the final total as his target was £500, "people gave quite generously" he said. Although he is extremely proud that he raised five times his original amount to help Epilepsy Society.
Stuart, who works in a power station, has had epilepsy for 19 years and up until five years ago, he was having mainly tonic-clonic seizures. He was on lamotrigine for seven years, being seizure free for six years. However, he started to have several dizzy spells and his seizures changed.
Stuart has experienced a range of seizures which are: generalised onset, focal, focal impaired awareness and tonic-clonic. He has tried many different medications with varying side effects.
Last year Stuart went through a rough patch due to the number of seizures he experienced and side effects of his medication "I was a nightmare" he recalls. His rough patch had a significant impact on his family, which caused him to end up in hospital after losing a week of his life and missing his son's first birthday. During this time, he took four months off work. However, without help from his family and friends "epilepsy would have had a spectacular win!". But Stuart always resolves never to let his epilepsy beat him.
Luckily his new medication, Vimpat, seems to be working and things "are getting back to normal". He is now back to work full time and as of March this year, he is seizure free.
Epilepsy is not just one condition, but a group of many different 'epilepsies' with one thing in common: a tendency to have seizures that start in the brain.
Did you know that the Greek philosopher Hippocrates (460-377 BC) was the first person to think that epilepsy starts in the brain? Find out more interesting facts and debunked myths around epilepsy and seizures.
There are many different types of epileptic seizure. Any of us could potentially have a single epileptic seizure at some point in our lives. This is not the same as having epilepsy, which is a tendency to have seizures that start in the brain.