Knoxville teen brings awareness to epilepsy

Knoxville teen brings awareness to epilepsy

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Brittany Ball has been living with epilepsy since she was 12. The disease can be exhausting, and sometimes deadly. Brittany Ball has been living with epilepsy since she was 12. The disease can be exhausting, and sometimes deadly.

By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A local non-profit is gearing up for their big annual fundraiser. It's a celebration of Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday. This year, Epilepsy Foundation East Tennessee is honoring a teenager who has up to 20 seizures a day, but still wants to make a difference in her community.

Brittany Ball has been living with epilepsy since she was 12. The disease can be exhausting, and sometimes deadly.

"I just lose everything, like all my motions. I'll throw my phone. If anything's in my hands, I'll just throw it and if somebody's helping me, I'll just latch on to them and I won't let them go until I'm back for awhile," Brittany said.

It happens multiple times a day, and each seizure can last up to a minute, which made high school difficult.

"Sometimes it was frustrating because everybody was getting their license and everything, and I can't do that. I can't drive," she said.

Brittany takes four kinds of medication three times a day, but they don't help enough.

For Brittany's parents, watching their daughter go through this has been devastating at times.

"It was awful and scary. She actually burned herself real bad in the summer on Ramen noodles. She actually had a seizure and spilled them down in her lap," said her mom, Donna Ball.

But the family has found help through the Epilepsy Foundation East Tennessee. They offer support groups, doctor referrals and assistance with medication and transportation.

"There is help. You're not helpless with epilepsy," said President Bill Brown, who has a son with seizures.

The foundation also gives away thousands of bicycle helmets each year to local kids. 

"A lot of epilepsy is caused by trauma to the head. Bicycle accidents are a major cause epilepsy, seizures," Brown said.

Meanwhile, the Ball family is still hoping for a cure as Brittany pursues her passion of working with children.

"I'm right now a Sunday school teacher at my church and I just want to keep on doing that because I don't have seizures around them and I believe it's God telling me that this is what you're meant to do," Brittany said.

The Mardi Gras fundraiser for the Epilepsy Foundation East Tennessee is Tuesday, March 4, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Knoxville. They'll have dinner, dancing, and a silent auction. Tickets are $30 and can be bought at the door or in advance by calling (865) 522-4991.

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