• September 5, 2019

Charity Birthday Contest Winner: Mariah

charity birthday winner Mariah-epilepsy awareness

Charity Birthday Contest Winner: Mariah

Charity Birthday Contest Winner: Mariah 1024 536 Charity Birthday

To launch our website, we celebrated with a Charity Birthday Contest where contestants shared personal acts of charitable giving. We were overwhelmed with amazing responses by people who have a passion for unleashing their goodness onto the world. The Charity Birthday team is excited to announce the contest winners! Each story is incredible. We hope that you enjoy!

In this post, we are highlighting Mariah. In 2nd grade, she was diagnosed with epilepsy which dramatically changed her life. However, through her hardship, she has been able to be a light for others who also deal with the illness.

Question 1: What inspires you to give back to society?

 

Being diagnosed with epilepsy when I was in 2nd grade has given me a different perspective on the world. I understand hardships that kids with chronic illnesses have to go through, both when they are in the hospital and when they are just trying to be “normal” kids at home or at school, first hand. Through my advocacy work in which I have partnered with The Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado and the Children’s Hospital of Colorado, I want to try and alleviate some of that stress and worry that not only shadows the child’s life but also the whole family as well. While living with chronic illness certainly isn’t ideal, it is manageable and the one thing I want to emphasis to kids is that they are still normal!

 

Question 2: What are your favorite ways to be charitable?

 

While all kids touch my heart, I love working with kids that have epilepsy the best. There is a very special spark and connection that I can sense between us after I tell them that I have epilepsy, too. It’s as if they are realizing for the first time that “grown-ups” have epilepsy, too, and that they are going to be okay. This past summer, I volunteered at a special summer camp for kids with epilepsy ages 8-12 and it literally changed my life. The girls in my cabin inspire me and it was just so much fun. It was three very magical days where we all just got to be ourselves and talking about epilepsy was no big deal.

 

Question 3: How has giving back affected you?

 

Volunteering is just…who I am. I’m not sure, I think it’s in my blood. I come up with these crazy ideas, like my 26 day March Madness Campaign and then decide to do it – all because I simply want to raise awareness and find a cure. I never expected any awards or praise for any of it. I just want the world to know what the purple ribbon means and honor those who have survived, are still battling, or who have lost their battle with epilepsy. Someday in my lifetime, I hope we’ll find a cure. Until then, I will keep advocating and pushing for more awareness everywhere.

 

Mariah embodies the spirit of Charity Birthday. If you have an awesome story that you’d like to share, fill out our contact form! We’d love to hear from you and highlight your act of kindness.