meghankennedywebsiteLike many military children, Meghan Kennedy had to face the challenges of moving, making new friends, and going to new schools, but her biggest challenge in life—being diagnosed with epilepsy at age 18—has been what has made her the strongest. She has had to overcome many challenges from living without a license, starting a new career and moving to California and, unfortunately, the general fears and stigma associated with epilepsy. Instead of hiding things, she has become proactive in educating the public from talking with the community, participating in the Epilepsy Walk on the National Mall in Washington, DC, being interviewed on CoyoteRadio and most recently as the Purple Day® Ambassador for the Inland Empire.

Since her diagnosis in November, 1986, she has been prescribed approximately 10 epilepsy medications; dealt with numerous side effects; participated in a clinical trial for topiramate; made multiple lifestyle changes—especially those incurred when suffering the loss of her driving privileges; and, on one occasion, awoke in an emergency room due to a seizure during an airplane flight. She has made transitions as needed to continue living life positively despite the challenges of epilepsy.

As a librarian, she has a passion for research and education. Her research about the history of epilepsy is geared towards colonies for epileptics that existed in the 19th and 20th centuries here in the United States and overseas. Currently, her research is focusing on Craig Colony, the 2nd colony for epileptics that existed in the United States.

The combination of her passion for education, for epilepsy, and for community service led her to develop Epilepsy Education Everywhere. Educating the public about epilepsy is the primary goal for our organization. After all, knowledge is power!

Awards & Accolades

IEWBC “It’s Your Time!” Award

Ms. Kennedy was recipient of the 2011 Inland Empire Women’s Business Center “It’s Your Time!” Award. Her business plan for Epilepsy Education Everywhere was judged by local business owners as part of the program. Thanks to IEWBC for supporting business owners throughout the Inland Empire with this program.

California Legislative Assembly Certificate of Recognition

On March 24, 2014, Ms. Kennedy received a Certificate of Recognition from the California Legislative Assembly for her service to Californians living with epilepsy. The certificate was presented by Assemblyman Curt Hagman of the 55th Assembly District. Also recognized that day was Debra Josephs, Executive Director of the Anita Kaufmann Foundation.