Welcome to EFMN’s Spotlight Series!
It’s National Epilepsy Awareness Month and the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota (EFMN) is taking this time to shine the spotlight on our Regional Outreach Managers who live out our mission every day, connecting individuals and families to real resources in our communities, ensuring no one journeys with epilepsy alone.
Did you know we have five Regional Outreach Managers working across the state? Our Outreach Managers live in the same communities they serve. Because of these amazing leaders, EFMN is able to be there for those who need us; no matter who, no matter where, no matter when.
Meet Angela Bowles Edwards, Regional Outreach Manager for the East Metro. The end of the year is almost here and when we asked Angela about her 2022 reflections. She told us she’s most proud of the work she’s done alongside Martin Hernandez (Regional Outreach Manager -Southern Minnesota), “I’m most proud of the work Martin and I have done with establishing our Spanish Connect Group and enhancing Spanish language services and programs.”
Angela’s efforts for 2023 are focused on continuing to grow EFMN’s abilities to serve diverse language-speaking families. In her free time, Angela loves running and playing music and will soon be bringing home two new pet rats!
What do you enjoy about your work?
I have the opportunity to get to know so many individuals and families. As cliche as it sounds, it truly is an honor to hear their stories and accompany them on their journeys.
What is one of our services you wish more people knew about?
Spanish Connect and Spanish language Information Services!
What examples do you have of when you felt like EFMN really exemplified its mission?
Our virtual connect groups have been such a wonderful space for meaningful connections. Each time, we have a mix of returning attendees and first-time attendees, and I love to see the support that folks offer to one another. You can clearly see the relief on people’s faces when they realize they’re talking to a group that truly understands what they’re going through, often for the first time. Getting to see this happen for both English and Spanish Speaking families has been particularly meaningful.
What is one myth you would dispel about epilepsy and seizures?
That it’s always debilitating and prevents people from living long, fulfilling lives. Epilepsy affects each person differently. Two-thirds of people can get seizures under control with treatment, and there are supports and resources available to navigate life with treatment-resistant seizures. Finding support and sharing experiences is incredibly important, as is remembering that everyone’s journey is unique.