Tricia Zuelke

We have three children. Our daughter is 14. Our twin boys are 12. One of our twins was diagnosed with Epilepsy when he was 6. We faced many challenges as a family going through med switches and treatments, as most families with a child with epilepsy experience. We were extremely challenged with extended family members and friends who did not understand epilepsy. Many days went by where I felt it was my fault and I was a terrible mom because of what other people thought and said. I want to help educate people about what epilepsy is and how it affects families. I want to help educate people so they know how to react when a child has a seizure, whether severe or minor. Our son has complex partial seizures, however, at one time was seizing every 4 minutes. He was pegged for “not paying attention” and “not following directions” when, in reality, he was having seizures and was unable to understand what was going on. I want to educate people that children who have seizures are often living in a state of confusion that we have no idea how to understand.
We have been thinking of some ways to spread Purple Day. My daughter is a gymnast and we are going to have a purple gym day at the gym. All the kids are going to be invited to wear their purple leotards for practice that day. We would like to hand out purple cards or something that explain what epilepsy is. I have a couple of friends who are hair dressers and I really want to start a Purple Day hair extension project in the area. I do not know if this is something that happens already, but I am going to make it happen here. It will be fun!

Age Diagnosed: 6
Location: USA

Hobbies: I have been a teacher for 17 years. When I began teaching, I taught first grade. What a wonderful place to start a teaching career! I have taught special education for 12 years. I love teaching. I love teaching special education. I have a passion for working with kids with disabilities because I know there is a special strength inside each and every one on the kids. I love working with staff to help them understand how to plan for and implement change within their classrooms. Currently, I am not teaching. I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury a year and a half ago. My life changed. Our family structure changed. My eyes have been opened to how my son has been trying to live in this state of "confusion" his whole little life. I, myself, am living in a state of confusion now. I am a representative for Wildtree Natural Foods, as I am able to teach people how to meal-plan and eat without preservatives, dyes, chemicals, and processed food. It has been very beneficial for our son and has been a passion of mine to spread the word as the company is amazing in so many ways. I have been able to continue throughout my injury and they have been a huge support. I love to craft and paint, especially with my kids. We create projects out of just about anything. Yoga has been a part of my life, also. I taught yoga to my students at school. It is very calming and helps them to ground themselves and focus. I am finally able to participate in yoga again since my injury and it is an amazing feeling! As a family, we love to golf. I have not golfed since my injury, however, hope to try this year! My husband and our boys love it (our daughter tolerates it LOL). We spend a lot of time up north in the summer, fishing and hanging out by the lake. I enjoy taking pictures of "whatever is going on". I am no photographer, however some of the pictures have turned out pretty cool. That is a bit about me.

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