Alongside friends and family, I completed the 2016 and 2018 Bournemouth Half Marathon, and then the 2019 London Marathon in aid of Epilepsy Research UK. These races were all in memory of my sister Faye.
Epilepsy heavily effected Faye’s life and our whole family, almost daily. She was unable to drive, rarely left alone, had an increased risk of seizures if ever drinking, and was scared to even ride a bike in her adult years.
Despite this Faye was determined to overcome her fear and decided to raise money for Southampton Hospital, where she was regularly treated, by completing a 40-mile bike ride. This was a huge challenge for someone with epilepsy who was petrified of cycling in case of suffering a seizure.
After being told quite regularly that she will unlikely be able to have children, at the age of 24 Faye gave birth to her wonderful son and my amazing nephew, Austin.
This amazing moment unfortunately adds to the sadness, as Faye was only able to spend four months with her son. She lost her life to epilepsy at the age of 25 from a SUDEP related accident.
Faye sadly lost her life in a SUDEP related accident, aged just 25
This tragic story I do not wish upon anyone, and it is exactly why I feel research into epilepsy and SUDEP is so important. Hearing about some of the grants awarded by ERUK over the past few years has been fantastic, particularly knowing the money raised by friends, family and myself has helped towards funding them is a great feeling.
I definitely have plans for more challenges in 2020 – most likely bike rides this time to give the feet a rest!
– Oli, November 2019