Original article from Kent Live
A mum from Ashford has spoken out about the "scary" reality of raising two children with epilepsy.
Anne Bowie-Wooler, 49, has three children, two with epilepsy and one with autism.
She told KentLive as a mother she has to constantly be on guard in case one of her daughters suffers a seizure and thinks more should be done to raise awareness of the condition.
Epilepsy is actually quite common and affects the brain, causing frequent seizures, according to the NHS.
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Seizures are caused by bursts of electrical activity in the brain that temporarily affect how it works. They can cause a wide range of symptoms, such as uncontrollable jerking and shaking, staring blankly into space, becoming stiff and collapsing.
Of Anne's two epileptic children, Katie, 16, has controlled epilepsy while Sally-Anne's, 20, has uncontrolled epilepsy.
A person with controlled epilepsy will be able to take medication that can help to limit the likelihood of seizures taking place.
However, if a person's condition is not controlled, they could suffer a seizure at any moment.
This makes living a normal life very challenging for both the person with epilepsy and the people that care for them.
Due to the risk of having a seizure at any moment, Sally-Anne requires support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"My younger daughter is quite controlled at the moment," Anne told KentLive.
"Whereas it is quite hard with my eldest daughter.
"I am her mum, so I am responsible for putting her in the recovery position, phoning the ambulance and giving them the support that they need, it can be quite difficult to deal with.
"Epilepsy is very scary, especially as a mum, and it's very difficult to explain because there can be many different types of seizures.
"Someone needs to be with them at all times because they could just go out and have a seizure.
"You could just be sitting having a conversation and then the person with epilepsy might just black out."
Living with the condition has put barriers in the way of the children's development, Anne explained.
Usual rites of passage, such as learning to drive, are further complicated by the threat of an epileptic fit.
"If you were to have a seizure today, you would have to go two years clear without any seizures and be classed as controlled before you are able to learn to drive again," the mother-of-three told KentLive.
"You would then have to retake the test again."
The family have set themselves an ambitious target to complete over the course of July.
Each member of the quartet will walk 350,000 steps, amounting to a total of 1.4 million steps being completed next month.
The challenge is also being undertaken nationwide in aid of Epilepsy Action, a charity focused on helping people suffering from epilepsy.
The charity's work advocates for high quality, accessible epilepsy healthcare services, so that people with the condition have the support they need to manage their condition.
The idea of a walk was not something that Anne had previously considered, and was instead suggested by her son, aged 9.
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"I saw that Epilepsy Action were running this walking campaign and lots of people were getting involved," she said.
"I didn't even think of taking part until my little boy suggested that we could do it, and it made me think 'yes we can.'"
The family will participate in the challenge together and Anne believes it will help give her children encouragement.
"We really want to raise awareness for the cause," she added.
"My friends and family have helped spread the message and support us which is great."
All money generated from the event will go straight to Epilepsy Action in order to fund research into the disorder.
If you are interested in finding out more about the family's challenge, you can visit the Facebook donation page via this link.