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Rene Powell Columbia, MO

Hard work, help and luck

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I was an uninsured student when epilepsy began to interfere with my life. For the first 10 years of my diagnosis, medication was highly effective. At 24, the medication suddenly stopped working, and I began to have seizures regularly. Medication changes were exhausting and debilitating, and seizures were accompanied by injuries such as shoulder dislocations. I had been working my way through college and was able to graduate only because I qualified for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) benefits.

Following my graduation, I still had the seizures to contend with. Since I was covered by Medicare, I was able to explore the option of neurosurgery. During the evaluation, the angiogram revealed an aneurysm that would not otherwise have been detected.

While the epilepsy surgery was only moderately successful, I consider myself extremely lucky to have discovered the aneurysm.

Contrary to what some would have us believe, we all need some help and some luck to complement our hard work and initiative in order to succeed.