Home » Epilepsy Blog » Epilepsy Blog Relay » Apr 22 EBR Posts » Epilepsy Blog Relay: Kindness shines through when you feel alone

Epilepsy Blog Relay: Kindness shines through when you feel alone

I thought I would kick off this Epilepsy Blog Relay™ with a story of my own.

Recap of the past year and a half

Some of you may know it has been a tough year (or few years). Not to be a bummer, and I do have a point, but let me catch you up on my situation. In 2021 my sisters and I sold my parent’s home on cape cod so we could place both mom and dad in a facility that could care for both of them. When I returned home my daughter was in a pretty serious accident and spent the next several months in the hospital and a physical rehabilitation center. That September we put my mom into memory care for advanced Alzheimers. Then in October, I was diagnosed with Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer. After I was able to get a few chemo treatments under my belt, I was back on Cape Cod with my sisters at the beginning of 2022. Dad had passed as a result of COVID Pneumonia and Mom was in hospice due to Sepsis, and advanced Alzheimer’s Disease. Within a month of Dad’s passing, Mom also passed.

I share this not to get your pity, or be dramatic. (well, maybe a little dramatic) It’s more to highlight the kindness I’ve received from friends, loved ones and strangers throughout all of this.

More Gratitude

After reading that you might be surprised to hear my outlook on life has become brighter and more filled with gratitude than ever before. Also my desire to move forward in my work with the epilepsy community is stronger than ever.

The Kindness of Strangers

Since I was diagnosed with cancer, the one thing that shone through was the overwhelming kindness of friends, loved ones and even strangers. The examples run the gamut from small heartfelt cards to friends arranging every other night food deliveries. I even received an anonymous package from a woman I’ve never met who gifted me everything I would need to start chemotherapy.

What can we learn from the Cancer Community?

In the short time I have been living with epilepsy and advanced cancer, I have learned a lot from my experiences. When someone is diagnosed with cancer the community rallies around them. Whereas when someone is diagnosed with epilepsy the instinct is to hide it. Therefore how can the community rally if they don’t know?

You can make a difference right now

I’d like to start immediately and encourage two new initiatives despite the fact that I’m heading to have the big surgery on April 4.



Follow Jessica K. Smith:


Founder and CEO Jessica brings a unique perspective to this leading epilepsy blog as she was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teen. She also brings 20+ years experience in marketing.

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