MicroTech Promotes National Epilepsy Awareness

Wed, 2013-11-20 13:25 -- nitrous

MicroTech has again raised its collective hand to support the month long national campaign for Epilepsy Awareness. Marisa Andrews, Vice President of Capture for MicroTech, who was diagnosed with the disorder more than 10 years ago, has made it her mission to promote awareness and to encourage people who have been recently diagnosed to seek support through The National Foundation of Epilepsy. She asked all of her MicroTech co-workers and friends to wear purple (the color of Epilepsy awareness) to promote the campaign. Through charity events and awareness campaigns over the years, Ms. Andrews has raised over $5,000 for this cause.

As an advocate of the Foundation’s efforts to promote awareness, Ms. Andrews organized a Mental Toughness class hosted by a local gym, Underground Athlete (UA). Mental Toughness, described by members as an hour-long finisher, is an interval training session designed to build endurance, strength and improve overall fitness. The owner and operator of UA, Justin Case, opened the class to the public and many current and former MicroTech employees. The class served to challenge the participants mentally and physically in honor of those who struggle with Epilepsy daily. Ms. Andrews opened up the class by sharing her story living with Epilepsy.

“Although UA has not cured my Epilepsy, it has helped me control my triggers and provided me with supportive friends I never knew I was missing. My major triggers are fatigue and stress, which are a constant in my life. Training with Justin, and becoming a part of the community [at UA] has helped me through what I already knew would be a high risk pregnancy, and to manage my day-to-day stress. My sole purpose in life is to ensure that awareness to this very serious neurological disorder exists, so that when someone like me wakes up after having a seizure, they have a support system to turn to.”

Ms. Andrews also independently began an Epilepsy Awareness Photo Challenge on her Facebook page. She asked all of the photo contributors to wear purple, tag her, and hashtag the words epilepsy awareness. So far she has more than 50 photos that extend beyond her immediate circle of friends and family. The social media photo challenge has prompted others to take up the cause by wearing purple and advocating for Epilepsy awareness.

Ms. Andrews is the catalyst for the Northern Virginia support group meetings and had been facilitating and speaking in the Northern Virginia area until she gave birth to her daughter Parker last Spring. She continues to make herself available to those seeking support via email, phone, Facebook or Twitter. Ms. Andrews’ motto is that “I may have Epilepsy, but it does not have me!”. You can follow her Epilepsy advocacy on Twitter @doesnothaveme.

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