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Las Vegas Teen Uses Comic Book To Raise Epilepsy Awareness

Comic book

A Las Vegas teen is using a comic book to raise awareness about epilepsy.

Nearly 10 percent of people in the United States will have a seizure in their lifetimes. One of the most commonly known seizure disorders is epilepsy.  However, epilepsy remains shrouded in mystery for many of us.

One Las Vegas teen is doing her part to raise awareness about epilepsy through social media, video logs, and now a comic book.

16-year-old Megan Mejia is the star of the new comic book in the  Medikidz Explain Epilepsy series.  She was selected to be the featured character in this comic book after submitting a video to Eisai's "Search for the Next Medikidz Star" contest. 

Megan worked closely with the Medikidz team of doctors, writers and artists to share her experiences and spread a message of openness and education.  She told KNPR's State of Nevada her goal is to show other kids with epilepsy that they're not alone and to seek help in managing the emotional fallout of an epilepsy diagnosis.

Megan was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 14. She told KNPR's State of Nevada the first year after her diagnosis was "terrifying - a really tough year."  

She had to start homeschooling to reduce stress and fatigue and became isolated from most of her peers. 

Living with epilepsy, Megan said, became a lot easier when she discovered a community of others in her situation through social media.

"At first," she said, "I felt so alone, so scared...  But then I decided to come out of that shell...  I found a lot of different tools that helped me  express myself through social media."

In addition to  Facebook and  Instagram, Megan is active on  YouTube.  She said reaching out to others online has helped her adjust to her diagnosis and find many new friends.

What advice does Megan have for anyone who has been diagnosed with epilepsy? 

"Get your story out there. Or, if you don't want to get your story out there, do some research.  You can do it anonymously or you can do it on a personal level, but just get yourself out there.  You can never have too much knowledge."

(Editor's Note: This story originally ran April 2015)

Megan Mejia, Las Vegas resident, vlogger and newest Medikidz comic book star

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Nikole Robinson Carroll is KNPR's Morning Edition host. You can hear her every morning from 5am until 10am on News 889. She also produces segments for KNPR's State of Nevada.