This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™, which will run from June 1 to June 30, 2018. Follow along!
When people see Andrea Menoudakis, whether it’s in a Youtube video or on stage with her rock band Motion Device, for the most part they will see one thing – a musician. She just turned 21 and has already been playing piano for sixteen years and bass for over a decade. It’s safe to say she feels most comfortable with an instrument at her finger tips but there’s a lot more to her than meets the eye. After Andrea finished high school with honours she immediately began working full-time as an instructor in an after-school tutoring program. Besides teaching, keeping busy with her music and playing in a rock band, she also has one more unique quality about her… Andrea has epilepsy.
Diagnosed with epilepsy
At the age of seven, Andrea’s parents noticed she started having short staring spells. She would stop whatever she was doing for a second or two and then continue where she left off as if nothing happened. The staring spells began to occur more frequently and last longer than a few seconds as she grew older so the time came to seek out a medical opinion. After seeing her doctor, a few specialists and getting some tests done, she was diagnosed with epilepsy. The doctors told the family Andrea had been having absence seizures.
Although the seizures seemed to disrupt Andrea’s life more often as the years passed by, she still managed to lead a normal life. Her family decided to try and avoid prescribed medication for some time and tried to treat her holistically but nothing really helped. However after a couple grand mal seizures her parents decided to again seek out medical treatment. Andrea was prescribed an antiepileptic drug by an epilepsy specialist and she’s been taking it ever since. It’s the only medication she takes and it seem to have helped keep the grand mal seizures under control and minimize her petit mal seizures as well – but she still has ‘daydreams’ as she calls them a few times a day. In fact, she composed a song on piano about epilepsy called ‘Daydream’ when she was sixteen.
Andrea and Motion Device
Andrea has learned to cope with epilepsy and not let it get in the way of her aspirations to be a full-time musician and hopefully tour the world with her band mates from Motion Device… which include her 16 year old sister Sara, who sings lead vocals, their 19 year old brother David, who plays drums, and their 24 year old first cousin Josh Marrocco who plays guitar for the band.
Motion Device has gained quite a following with over 90,000 social media fans who have donated more than $100,000 over a span of three years to see the band release a 5-song EP called ‘Welcome to the Rock Revolution’ in 2014, a full-length album called ‘Eternalize’ in 2015, and a double-CD concept album called ‘Wide Awake’ last year – all funded through Kickstarter.
Watch Andrea play her six-string bass in the band’s single ‘Soul Shaker’ on Youtube:
The ‘HIGH ROAD’ Tour
Andrea’s current crowd-funding campaign is called the ‘High Road’ tour and is all about bringing her band Motion Device to the U.S. for a three-city mini tour with stops in Indianapolis, Atlanta and New York – something their American fans have been asking for quite some time.You can visit the Kickstarter project page and pledge for show tickets, meet & greet V.I.P. passes, signed merchandise and more. In addition ALL backers get an added bonus… the band’s new album coming out in 2019.
Visit Motion Device’s Kickstarter here:
A good portion of Andrea’s fans know about her epilepsy. In fact some of them have epilepsy themselves and have told her and the band many times over how much Motion Device’s music means to them. The band writes original music that is both soft and melodic and pretty heavy at times, but always has something deeper to share within its lyrics, which is a big reason why so many have fallen in love with their sound.
One thing is for sure – Andrea is determined to make a life out of her music. Although having epilepsy can be a huge obstacle for a musician, it has also given Andrea the strength and inspiration to show others that life truly can be a beautiful and incredible journey. Join Andrea on Kickstarter, and help Motion Device bring awareness to the millions of others who have epilepsy, and the millions more who need to know more about it.
NEXT UP: Be sure to check out the next post by Alison at http://www.shedlightonepilepsy.org/.
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