Welcome to Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario's E-blast. Your quarterly newsletter from Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario covering the latest in epilepsy news from our clients, our agency, and around the world.
November 2022

Happy Holidays!

Greetings from the Chief Executive Officer

Whoa! Where has the time gone? The season for warm mittens and cozy sweaters is just around the corner! Our team has planned some engaging holiday get-togethers and we are hopeful that you will be able to join us. We also recognize that the holidays can be difficult for some, and would like to encourage you to reach out to your local Epilepsy Educator for support and/or help in finding community resources if needed. We wish you a peaceful holiday season and a hopeful 2023. 

Warm regards,

Michelle Franklin
Chief Executive Officer

Living With Epilepsy


“September 1st, 1988, was my first breath of fresh air. I was not born with epilepsy. On April 1st 2014, I woke up as a different woman. Seizures are a scary thing; waking up not knowing where you are, what day it is, the month or year. I may not even recognize a person at times. So, when I was offered a surgery to treat my epilepsy, I went for it to have the opportunity to be me again. After seizures, I feel like a different person. I am so lost after a seizure that it takes months to get back to feeling like me again. I need to recall my memory and slowly get back to life. I recover from seizures by taking life slowly and letting my memory come back. I enjoy a nice, hot bath and live life for me. I do this by having some fun with brain exercising apps on my phone, reading, exercise, yoga, and going for peaceful walks. I do self-care once a day every day for 30 minutes and I have a daily schedule to help me with this so that it makes sure everything gets done. This is something that makes me feel good inside and out. I do still have some barriers and that is "time" for me. The day goes by extremely fast, and I need to find my 30 minutes, so doing it when I wake up is always a good time. It's a good accomplishment that gives me energy for the day and makes me feel good.  

I have been given lot of support and could not be more thankful. I have attended programs such as brain X 90, ABI 101, Warm Up, and UPLIFT. I could not have done my healing without their help. The organizations involved in my life have taught me how to love me again and that this is not my fault, which truly helps me from depression. They have taught me how to live my life stress-free, and to be happy! Flaws will always happen but it’s not my fault. I remember to smile and to just keep on going. UPLIFT has truly made a big difference for me and was a lot of help, including learning to increase favourable thoughts, body scanning, meditation, mindfulness, relaxation, and cognitive behavioral therapy. I also learned about the cycle of thought, feeling, and behavior and how to prevent and treat depression. Emotions have a purpose and we can have control over our emotions. I get seizures when I am stressed out or when there is just too much commotion, so these are emotions I have to control and take over my seizures.  TAKE CONTROL!”

Share Your Love of Chocolate & ESWO

Rheo Thompson Fundraiser

The holiday season wouldn’t be the same without chocolate! Fill your stockings, and purchase teacher or employee gifts with approximately 25% of proceeds being donated back to ESWO.  

Orders are due Monday, November 14 at noon.

View Catalogue

Giving Tuesday

Give someone the gift of hope this Giving Tuesday

As part of the holiday season, we’re excited to launch our 2022 GivingTuesday campaign, encouraging you to consider the gift that keeps on giving. 

Giving Tuesday (November 29, 2022) is a day when charities, families, businesses and communities around the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is meant to unofficially “open the giving season”.  

Please consider the #GIFTOFHOPE, by supporting the 1 in 100 people living with epilepsy throughout Southwestern Ontario this holiday season and beyond.

Giving Tuesday Details

Virtual Support Groups

Connect with others virtually through ESWO

Our virtual teen group has been moved from bi-weekly meetings to quarterly meetings, with our next group set for January 31, 7:00 – 8:00 pm. We will meet every 3 months on the last Tuesday of the month. The group is open to youth between the ages of 13-17. For now, the meetings will remain virtual but depending on feedback from participants there is a possibility of meeting in person for get-togethers and the time may change to make it easier for participants to attend. Advance notice will be given. Email to register.


UPLIFT is a free, eight-week skill-building program to support people in developing coping strategies to deal with stress, through mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy. Participants meet once a week for one hour with groups of 5-8 people over Zoom. Commitment to attend each session is required to benefit from the program, as well as to ensure the group dynamic remains intact. 

For adults with epilepsy - ESWO will be running the UPLIFT Program for adults (18+) with epilepsy beginning in February 2023. The program is facilitated by our social worker, as well as a co-facilitator who lives with epilepsy, and is geared towards those who have symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. Email to register. 

For caregivers – ESWO will host an UPLIFT session for those who are caregivers of individuals living with epilepsy. Upcoming session will start January 19 and will run on Thursdays at 12:00 pm. Email to register. 

Peer Match Program

We are always looking for people with lived experience of epilepsy to join our peer matching program as peer supporters! Your experience can be invaluable to someone who is just beginning their epilepsy journey. Most peers simply want to meet someone else with epilepsy and to ask questions about how to live well with epilepsy, how to support someone they are caring for and to know that they are not alone. Additionally, we are especially looking for people who speak other languages, have surgical experiences, experience with drug-refractory epilepsy, or care for someone with disabilities in addition to epilepsy. The program is of course also open to those who want a peer match for support for themselves or their child. Please feel free get in touch with one of our Epilepsy Educators to start the matching process.  

Holiday Shopping

As the giving season is upon us, we ask that you consider giving to ESWO during this time.  

  • Shop our Purple Store for some gift ideas. We have local lavender products, winter hats and mittens, and much more for your epilepsy warrior. Coming soon winter toques and holiday tree ornaments! Watch our Purple Store for updates. 
  • Make a donation on behalf of that hard-to-shop-for person or on behalf of your business. We’re happy to send a card recognizing your contribution. 

For more ideas, visit our Holiday Giving page.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Seamstress – we are seeking someone with sewing skills who could work with us to create dog bandanas for our Purple Store. If this is something you’re interested in finding more information about, please contact  
  • Gala Committee – Our event committee meets regularly to plan one of ESWO’s biggest fundraisers. Tasks include assisting with sponsorship/donations, promotion of the event, and support with event elements like décor. If interested in finding out more information about this committee, please contact  

Seize the Day Recap

Thank You

On behalf of ESWO staff and Board, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone for their contributions and continued support of our Annual Seize the Day Event! ESWO was grateful to bring together the epilepsy community to know they are not alone in this journey. This year’s event was held in a hybrid format, encouraging participants to join us online, in-person in London or Windsor.  Approximately $119,650 was raised to help fund ESWO’s support and education programs! 

For more event highlights including a list of amazing supporters, and event pictures please visit:  

Seize the Day London 
Seize the Day Windsor

Crow Your Boat

Thank You

ESWO would like to extend a thank you to everyone who supported the ‘Crow Your Boat’ Race which took place at Chatham-Kent’s Crowfest on October 15, 2022. Thank you to all of the amazing donors who also contributed to this year’s prizes.  

To see a full list of winners and the prizes awarded, please visit our website.

Crow Your Boat Winners

Epilepsy in the News

Regional News & Events

All Regions

Virtual Merry Little Holiday Party

  • December 15, 2022 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm  
  • Join us to celebrate the holiday season virtually for music and games.  
  • Please RSVP to by December 8 to receive the Zoom link. 


Windsor Bowling Night

  • November 22 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm 
  • Revs Rose Bowl, 2482 Dougall Ave, Windsor 
  • Come mingle with our epilepsy warriors and families while enjoying a game of bowling.  
  • Space is limited. RSVP to  
Windsor Bowling Night Details

Merry Little Holiday Party

  • December 11, 2022 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm (weather permitting).  
  • Lanspeary Lions Outdoor Rink, 1250 Langlois Ave., Windsor 
  • Join us for a free public skate, hot chocolate and activities for families.  
  • Please RSVP to
Windsor Holiday Party Details

London Middlesex

Merry Little Holiday Party

  • December 8 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm  
  • Stronach Community Recreation Centre, 1221 Sanford Street, London  
  • Join our festivities for a casual, family-friendly event with games and activities for adults and children. Plus, get holiday ready by decorating your ugly sweater. 
  • Please RSVP by December 2 to   
London Holiday Party Details


Merry Little Holiday Party

  • December 6, 2022 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm 
  • Turns and Tales Board Game Café, 213 King St. W. Unit 1, Chatham 
  • Join us for a holiday gathering to play board games and mingle. Great for the whole family!  
  • Please RSVP to  
Chatham-Kent Holiday Details

Copyright © 2022 Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario.
Charitable Registration No.: 11890-0802-RR0001

Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario
797 York Street, Unit 3 | London, ON, N5W 6A8 | Canada

Tel: 519.433.4073 | Fax: 519.433.4079
Windsor Tel: 519.890.6614
Chatham Tel: 519.365.5131

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Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario · 797 York Street · Unit 3 · London, Ontario N5W 6A8 · Canada