Support group for seizure sufferers forming in Nanaimo

Support group for seizure sufferers forming in Nanaimo.

Seizure suffers now have a place to share thoughts and emotions with others facing the same issues with the creation of an epilepsy support group in Nanaimo.

Kelsey Cullen began working on forming the group last summer and contacted the B.C. Epilepsy Society for help.

“It’s very good. She’s gung-ho and really wants to start a good support group for people,” said Marlyn Chow, B.C. Epilepsy Society support service coordinator.

The inaugural meeting was held in November, but there weren’t as many participants as Cullen hoped.

She wants to spread the word that the group is available for people suffering from epilepsy, their family and friends to talk in a safe and welcoming environment.

Cullen was motivated to form the group because a friend suffers seizures and she has witnessed the effect it has on her friend’s life. When her friend has a seizure, she relies heavily on family and friends to help her.

“It’s very dangerous after her seizures. Her body is tired because the muscles contract everywhere and she is really out of it mentally,” said Cullen. “It takes her a few minutes to recover before she makes any sense at all and she won’t remember things for hours afterward.”

In her work as a psychiatric nurse, Cullen has also seen other people who suffer from seizures and knows the emotional and physical toll it can take. She has also seen the positive impact support groups have.

Chow said support groups allow people to share their emotions and talk with people going through the same issues and facing the same stigma.

Cullen is trying to arrange a meeting for January, but is currently trying to find a place to hold a meeting. She’s open to suggestions from group participants about how they want the group to evolve.

For more information about the Nanaimo epilepsy support group, please call 250-618-7034 or e-mail For more information about the B.C. Epilepsy Society, please call 1-604-875-6704 or go to

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