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23 March 2012
When bubbly, out-going two-year-old Addison Berderow was just one, she had her first seizure, throwing her, and parents Tanya and Brad, into a spin of medical tests, doctors, paediatric specialists and geneticists.
“When Addi was about six months of age, we realised that there was something amiss, but it was hard to put our finger on it. She was rolling her eyes, which we had initially thought was tiredness, and she was having trouble sitting up unaided,” Tanya said.
Her first seizure, at just 12 months of age, confirmed that something was wrong.
“It was quite terrifying, her eyes had rolled back, she was limp and completely unresponsive. It was like the lights were on but nobody was home.”
Addi was later diagnosed with epilepsy – a condition where a disruption of the normal electrochemical activity of the brain results in seizures.
Some months after her epilepsy diagnosis, doctors were able to identify that Addi’s symptoms related to a rare chromosome disorder called ‘6q26-6q27’, which in simple terms means that Addi was missing the bottom section of one strand of DNA. Epilepsy is one symptom of her chromosomal condition.
“We are happy to share Addi’s story as we believe that it’s important to ‘unmask epilepsy’ and create more awareness about the condition,” Tanya said.
“Despite these challenges, Addi has an amazingly vibrant personality – she’ll chat to just about anyone.”
“There always seems to be this mystery around epilepsy and I don’t think people realise that it’s as common as it is. It can affect anyone regardless of age, intelligence, gender or background. It actually affects as many as two per cent of Queenslanders and is considered the world’s most common serious brain disorder.”
Tanya, who is a senior Accountant at BMO Business Centre, enlisted the support of her team mates to host a “Purple Day” on Friday (23rd March) to increase awareness about epilepsy and to help raise funds to support families who are touched by the condition.
Dalby Day Care, Dalby South School and Shannon Donaldson Lawyers have also backed the cause by purchasing over 100 purple cupcakes lovingly baked by Tanya.
Tanya said she was very grateful for the support of her employers at BMO and the team at the Dalby Day Care, who have been a key part of observing and supporting Addi through her journey.
You can support the cause by purchasing merchandise at BMO or by donating to Epilepsy Queensland http://www.givenow.com.au/epilepsyqueensland.
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