We Day Toronto

In May of 2014, I was amazed to learn that I was a finalist for the Canadian Living Me to We Awards. I was even more surprised to discover in June that I’d won the Youth In Action category!! We had to keep quiet about the award until the October issue of Canadian Living came out (boy, was that a hard secret to keep) but over the summer I did interviews with the reporter from the magazine and had a professional photo shoot!

As soon as I discovered that I’d won the award, I knew that Dan had to come with me. There was no way I would have even had a chance to win it without his support. So on October 1st, we flew to Toronto for We Day!

It was an amazing experience. Canadian Living had sent a limo to the airport to pick us up! They put us up in a hotel downtown. The only downer was that our flight was delayed so we missed the Evening of Champions dinner. We landed and went straight to the rehearsal night at the Air Canada Centre. It was surreal. We were escorted to the Green Room where there was a private chef cooking up food for the performers. We got to meet the other winners. While we were in the Green Room performers like R5 circulated in and out of the room. Then we got to go watch the rehearsal and we had a surprise. Kendrick Lamar was the secret guest performer and we were there right in time to see his rehearsal. We had to keep it a secret and not take any photos but it was pretty cool.

Then I had to go with my fellow winners onto the stage to practice accepting our awards. After that we went back to our hotel and tried to sleep, which was pretty much impossible.

We had to be up super early the next morning because I had to get to the event early as I had to go on the red carpet with the other winners. Then we ended up in a private suite to watch the show. The rest of the day went by in a blur. Being on stage, receiving my award and the after party. It was so much fun!

Dan and I still had more exciting things planned for Toronto though (it was our first trip there!). The next day we went to Ripley’s Aquarium and then to the CN Tower. And on our last morning we toured the University of Toronto’s campus. It was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime trip.

 

Updates from the EAS!

Dan and I did so many things in 2014! I haven’t been very good at updating our website though – we were just too busy.

I’m creating a series of photo-stories to share with you about all the great opportunities we had last year. From hosting our own gala to attending the Pipeline Conference to presenting at the Canadian Student Leadership Conferences to attending We Days Toronto & Vancouver to Epilepsy Awareness Day in Disneyland to doing my first TedX Talk, it was an amazing fall. And that fall just ended an amazing year in general!

It was also pretty tough juggling school work and all that travel (and I’ve been trying to catch up every since). But we had so many amazing opportunities to talk about epilepsy with so many different people. It was really inspiring to talk to others who are dealing with epilepsy in their lives.

We also got to see a lot of new places and learn how to travel together! Don’t worry we are still best friends. 😉

We also started a new initiative in September of 2014: the Youth Empowerment Project. The goal of that group is to help other young people use their passions to make positive change in the world! You can keep up-to-date on that project at http://yepnow.org.

I hope you enjoy seeing all the amazing things we did last year. 2015 is going to be just as awesome!

EAS Gala – February 2014

Penticton Markets – Spring 2014

Epilepsy Pipeline Conference – June 2014

Canadian Student Leadership Conference – Sept 2014

We Day Toronto – October 2014

We Day Vancouver – October 2014

Epilepsy Awareness Day at Disneyland – Nov 2014

TedX Kids BC 2014 – Nov 2014

Canadian Student Leadership Conference – Kelowna 2014

We had the opportunity to host a round table session at the Canadian Student Leadership Conference in Kelowna. We had originally planned to go to the conference for the whole week but in BC our teachers were on strike for the start of school and the strike was resolved the week the conference started. With 3 weeks already gone from our Grade 11 year, we couldn’t afford to miss what was the first week of classes. We still were able to attend the conference for the weekend and I had the opportunity to spend a morning at the conference with DASH BC earlier in the week. In 2015 we plan to attend the whole conference! It was amazing!

Pipeline Conference for Epilepsy – San Francisco 2014

Dan and I had been planning the trip to San Francisco for the Pipeline Conference for months. Everything came together for us. We had all our things packed, the Centre for Epilepsy & Seizure Education was sponsoring part of our trip and we were keen to meet others who were living with epilepsy. Then the night before we were set to go, the unthinkable happened: Dan’s appendix ruptured. He had to have emergency surgery and I had to go on our trip without him!

The conference was very cool. I got to meet a ton of scientists, doctors, experts and families all with the common interest of epilepsy. It was a bit boring (not many young people at the conference) but also educational.

The rest of the trip to San Francisco was pretty cool. I’d never been there and Dan & I had planned to go to most of the major sites. It was weird going without him but I still had a good time and took lots of pictures so I could tell Dan all about it when I got home.

Penticton Markets 2014

In 2013, we were a pretty regular feature at the Community Market in Penticton. But 2014 was a very busy year and we didn’t do as many markets as we would have liked. There were a few reasons for this. First, we had a lot of trips planned (both for the EAS and for other commitments). Second, Dan was working full-time for our awesome local bakery, True Grains. Luckily the bakery always has a booth at the market, so Dan was still able to visit on his breaks!

Epilepsy Awareness Squad Gala 2014

We came up with the idea for a Gala in the fall of 2013. By December of 2013, we had secured a venue (the lovely Sumac Ridge Golf Course in Summerland) and started to send out invites. The night was an amazing success. We raised over $2000 for epilepsy programs in British Columbia and Sierra Leone.