Hi Neureka® visitors! My name is Amber Kaiser and I’m excited to be kicking off a new blog series focused on epilepsy education and interviews with people and organizations who have been working hard to make a difference in the epilepsy community.
I’m excited to join the Novela Team and to be working with such a kind, talented and passionate group of people. I’m looking forward to helping Novela with our epilepsy services, Neureka®, and providing people with epilepsy and their caregivers with both the medical and support services they have been looking for!
To share with you a little about my personal and professional experience, I’ll start with saying something I normally don’t share in the work environment (as most people with epilepsy understand), yet in working with Novela, I’m happy and grateful to be able to share my personal epilepsy experience to help us help people with epilepsy.
I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 21 and realized I had actually been having nocturnal generalized seizures since my mid-teens. I also remember my first “weird feeling” when I was about 5 years old, which I would learn much later in my life were complex partial seizures. When I was diagnosed with epilepsy, I was in the middle of my junior year of university, and despite all my challenges, I tried to continue living my life like everyone else I knew.
Throughout the next 10 years of different neurologist doctor appointments, countless imaging, three different hospital EMU visits, medicine trials and experiencing the effects of regular complex partial seizures (gratefully, my nocturnal generalized seizures were controlled with medication), I finished my B.A. in English and Marketing and went the marketing route throughout my career, working with marketing agencies, startups and nonprofits.
One of the jobs I enjoyed the most was when I had the opportunity at a young age to create and lead a marketing department from the ground up. Of all my different responsibilities, I enjoyed the creativity and relationship building aspect the most. I believe creating long-term business partnerships for any type of nonprofit or business can bring so much more opportunity and positive impact for everyone all around.
I spent five years in that job until my health with epilepsy continued deteriorating and I came to the point of brain surgery being considered the best option. So, when I was 31, I had brain surgery and it changed my life in many ways, including having about 6 years of seizure-freedom! I enjoy traveling and the simple things in life—a nice community, good times with friends and family, and my bird. I adopted an Eclectus parrot when he was 3 years old, and he turns 17 this year. He has a sweet personality, is super friendly and always likes meeting new people.
I’m grateful to share that because of the high-level responsibilities I had very early in my career and my personal experience with both epilepsy and brain surgery, I’m able to do what I am today and help Novela with our mission of providing exceptional epilepsy care.
I’m so excited to help other people, as I understand there are many ways that epilepsy care can be improved, including convenience and support in many different capacities. I look forward to helping us grow and reaching as many epilepsy patients and caregivers as we can to make their lives easier, safer and filled with more support.
Stay tuned for the next post in our blog series. I look forward to interacting with you all and growing as a community! Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram!