Thursday, August 29, 2013

Member Highlight - Michele

I'm a SF Bay Area native, living with epilepsy all my life. I love being outdoors. Nature helps me connect with God & feel alive. I've been married for 19 years to my love, Michael. Together we've successfully raised our blended family of 3 kids (Hilary and Dan - my two from my first marriage, Sean - Michael's son from his first marriage).  

I live in Santa Clara, California, the heart of innovation, Silicon Valley. My outdoor passions are hiking, walking, yoga, spending time in nature. When I was younger, I ran through the woods once or twice a week. Michael and I rode our bikes through Italy and we did century rides for years. I spent many years as a runner, a triathlete and I love open water swimming. Unfortunately, it's not safe for me to swim alone because I nearly drowned several years ago after having a seizure in a swimming pool.

My most significant current challenge is recovering from VNS surgery. I've had VNS for 10 years, which stopped my daytime seizures 100%. I still have occasional nocturnal seizures, and lately I've had a few partial complex seizures when the VNS stopped working. The entire unit was replaced on August 8th.  

If I woke up tomorrow as an animal, I'd choose to be a dog, a black lab like my Lucy. Lucy loves to walk, play & sleep -- she loves unconditionally.

My motto is, Live each day as if it was your last - Epilepsy does not stop me from living a full live.

I joined Outdoor Mindset in the Summer of 2012, after completing my masters studies. I love the idea of connecting with others who live with neurological disorders and sharing our mutual love of being outdoors .

My expectations for Outdoor Mindset are to do a group hike in Yosemite, maybe climb Half Dome. I'm in the very early stages of training for a half marathon in LA in March 2014 through Athletes v. Epilepsy, a division of Epilepsy Foundation of America.

I'm most looking forward to meeting new like-minded friends through OM's Connect Program, and training for some local outdoor adventures next Summer. I would love to be part of a local Meet Up group.

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