Every year, all profits from the sale of “Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures: A guide” are donated to Epilepsy Alliance America, a wonderful foundation that hosts the Lorna Myers PNES Scholarship. This award is offered to any person living in the USA and who has a diagnosis of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. The money that is granted can be used to pay for educational costs for college, trade schools or other forms of learning that will support the individual to become skilled and employed in the future.
This year, 9 amazing women earned this scholarship and on Friday, June 23, I had the pleasure to meet several of them at a virtual reception hosted by Epilepsy Alliance America where Lisa Gallipoli, Pat Gibson and Dr. Bruce Herman were also present. All scholarship winners also received a personally signed copy of “Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures: A guide.”
This scholarship isn’t new; it has been around since the year that “Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures: A guide” was published (previously hosted by Epilepsy Free). In other words, all earnings from this book have been going to support people with PNES for the past 10 years.
Some have asked me, why do you donate all the royalties rather than keep them for yourself? The answer is because in my mind, “Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures: A guide” was always part of a two-step plan to helping those afflicted with PNES. First, the book was meant to provide patients and their caregivers with a source of updated information about PNES (it was published at a time when there wasn’t any publication [paper or online] about PNES and patients were often sent out of the hospital with nothing more than a diagnosis). Second, the money that it earned was meant to be returned to the PNES community members by recognizing and supporting the very patients who are battling these seizures and who despite it all, are pushing forward, continuing to grow and learn.
We all know that PNES tends to fuel social isolation, patients may grow increasingly afraid of going out to public spaces, may be forced to leave their school or job, many end up spending more and more time at home. Sometimes this is due to jobs and schools that may be less than understanding and supportive of the individual or due to the individual’s or their caregivers’ increasing concerns for safety.
I feel strongly that it is key that those on their PNES recovery journey should receive all the support we can give them to reach their future life goals, goals that extend far beyond this present time affected by seizures. This scholarship is meant to be one of the ways in which we can assist people with PNES to overcome the limitations that this disorder can impose on those who are affected by it. Please join in me in congratulating these amazing scholarship recipients!
And please consider donating yourself to continue to support the next generation of individuals living with PNES and who could benefit from help to cover the costs of their education.