About My Moment of Impact: A Journey with Epilepsy
“The word Epilepsy is derived from the Greek root “lep,” meaning to grab, or seize or take hold of. “Epi” means outside of/next to. So epilepsy is a condition in which one is seized by something outside one’s control. Imagine living with a condition that is always hanging above your head, like the sword of Damacles, not exactly knowing if a seizure will strike, or when. The tree of epilepsy has many branches, including seizures, anxiety, mood symptoms, cognitive symptoms, and psychosocial implications, to name a few.
It is so refreshing and clarifying to hear such a strong and insightful voice as Kerri’s tell her story. It allows us to get a glimpse into the labyrinth of complexity that living with epilepsy is. I have been treating her for nearly two decades. She has a refractory and severe case of epilepsy, but her spirit has been untouched, and, if anything strengthened. Her wit, intellect, emotional maturity, self-transcendence, perserverence, and steady reflection make this a unique work. It is rare to hear from patients themselves when exploring neurological illnesses, as often the illness robs the person of their ability to communicate these complexities with clarity. Not the case with Kerri. This book is one of the best explorations of this illness I have ever seen coming from a patient. Her inborn resources and strengths allow us to walk with her on her journey and get a peak behind the curtains. More important than what it teaches us about epilepsy, we are exposed to a truly remarkable human being, whose fire burns bright, and whose light and heat provide warmth and illumination for all of us. Taking this stroll with Kerri leads not just to a deeper understanding of how epilepsy works in people’s lives, but to be empowered and inspired by her story and her personhood, one that shines in all that she does. It is a rare gift. One example of this soul force in Kerri is the simple fact that she wrote a whole book so beautifully in the face of aphasia (language deficits) she acquired after her epilepsy surgery.
Kerri has been an energizing inspiration in my life as her treating physician. I have no doubt that any reader of this book will also catch that fire.”
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Kerri was born in Brooklyn and raised on Staten Island. She was diagnosed with epilepsy in her first year of college. After graduation she worked in NYC as an IT systems engineer for ten years.She has an undergraduate degree in US History and is a certified Veterinary Technician. She advocates for persons with epilepsy through fundraising efforts, becoming active in other charities and has found the time to create her own charity, Epilepsy Compassion International (www.navigatingepilepsy.net).
Currently, she spends half the year with her family at the Jersey Shore and the other half in Deep Creek, MD with her best friend/sister, Erin. She is a staunch environmentalist, especially regarding marine life and pollution. She skis with her sister, Erin at the ski resort across the street from their home. She also loves the beach and surfing. Her first book, My Moment of Impact, is NOT on the NY Times best seller’s list; however, her work across multiple disciplines broadly addresses the narratives of human experiences with epilepsy.