BX mom raises epilepsy awareness with 'Seize the Cure' in honor of her son

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SOUNDVIEW -

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, and a Bronx mother is on a mission to make sure any families in the borough who need support get it. 

Tara Gibson, who created the organization “Seize for the Cure,” says she's leading the charge for epilepsy awareness for her son.

"When I hear my mom say 'Maliq, Maliq,' and I snap out of it and i go 'did I just have a seizure?' I woke up on the floor," says Maliq Fenelon, who is living with epilepsy.

Maliq doesn't know when it'll happen again or how bad it'll be.

"He's had in the past three years more than 327 seizures. They don't stop," says Maliq's mom, Gibson.

Sometimes the seizures are violent, and sometimes he gets hurt in the process.

"I was reminded again last night that I can't be alone with him when he seizes because I just physically can't manage him," says Gibson.

Epilepsy is part of their family's everyday life. It's a neurological disorder that comes in different forms. Gibson also has epilepsy, suffering from absent seizures causing her to blank out or stare. Maliq was diagnosed when he was 7 years old, but didn't start experiencing refractory, or uncontrolled, epilepsy until 3.5 years ago.

"No particular cause, no particular trigger, it comes when it wants and it's not reactive to medication," says Gibson.

Two years ago, Gibson created "Seize the Cure" in the Bronx to raise epilepsy awareness, holding different events, workshops and soon a weekly online radio show.

"What we could do to, not necessarily cure, but manage epilepsy. It's a big problem that nobody talks about," says Gibson.

They say they're still learning how to manage Maliq's epilepsy, taking it day by day.

"I hope I grow out of this. I hope I stop having at least, I hope I stop having seizures," says Maliq.

That hope is what keeps his mom going.

"He's my inspiration to keep fighting. Medication hasn't helped, rather than sitting back and waiting for a miracle, why don't I just take this into my own hands," says Gibson. 

The process, she says, it to help others who are also affected by epilepsy.

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