A Sister’s Perseverance

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I’m Hailey, and I have a twin sister named Olivia, but we call her Livy. We are both 15 years old. Though I have written this, it’s her story, which is an incredible one at that. She was born with a brain malformation that caused her to have epilepsy and cerebral palsy. From that day on, she set my family on a challenging but incredible journey.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes a person to have seizures. A seizure is essentially an “electrical storm” in the brain where too many electrical signals are sent out. This can cause a person to do many different kinds of things, like shake, stare off, wander, etc. A person has epilepsy if they have seizures not caused by another underlying condition. They may have if for many different reasons and it may onset at any time in life with varying severity. Cerebral palsy, which affects movement of body parts, can also accompany epilepsy from birth. In Livy’s case, she had her first seizure hours after birth and is unable to walk or speak. She has had two brain surgeries and has spent many months in the hospital. Early in her life, she had days where she had over 100 seizures a day, though thankfully they are better controlled now. But despite all she has been through, she is able to stay strong all while spreading hope and inspiration to others.


But despite all she has been through, she is able to stay strong all while spreading hope and inspiration to others.

Livy is one of my best friends. We’ve always stuck together and her smile has a special way of making me feel better in any scenario. She loves movies, swinging, and cuddling. Spending time with her brings me joy. Our family scenario is quite different than what many people would consider “normal.” Livy requires 24-hour care including being fed, dressed, and bathed, and my whole family has pitched in to help. Traveling and making plans can be tricky because we don’t know if she will have a seizure, or if we will be able to get her wheelchair into certain places.

Sometimes people have asked me what it's like living a “different” kind of life, or if I mind it, and I always reply that I don't know anything different, and frankly wouldn’t want it any other way. Despite the challenges, I believe that Livy has allowed my family to have a special outlook on life. She has helped us to be thankful, accepting, and to help others around us. She is a hero who has overcome difficulty. I am so proud of her and am very lucky to have her.

I think that if Livy could talk, she would tell others to always have hope, even in the hardest of times. When life seems impossible, keep going because you have the opportunity to make it through your hardship and end up a better person than before. Livy has challenges, but I haven’t seen a day where she hasn’t smiled. Perseverance is an incredible quality, and Livy embodies it to the fullest.

To learn more about Hailey, Livy, and their family's organization Livy's Hope, please visit the links below:

Website: www.livyshope.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/livyshope

Instagram: @livyshope

Twitter: @livyshope



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