WELCOME to the SEEZ nonprofit website. I'm Epilectra, and I lead the SEEZ superhero team. You can read about our adventures in the upcoming EPILECTRA graphic novel and learn more about us on the EPILECTRA web site (www.epilectra.com).
My creator, Sue, is the founder of SEEZ the Nonprofit. It's an important organization for people with disabilities like me and Sue. I have epilepsy, and Sue has epilepsy and type 1 diabetes. Too often people with disabilities are relegated to a world of, "You can't," and we start believing it. Well, WE CAN! Sue founded SEEZ to help people like us optimize life with a disability, and I'm very proud to be SEEZ's spokeshero!
SEEZ MISSION STATEMENT
Empower people with disabilities and their loved ones
to lead productive and fulfilling lives
by providing the necessary resources and support
As my friend Epilectra said, welcome to the SEEZ website. That's SEEZ the nonprofit, not the team of superheroes. Although if it were up to me, we'd all be acknowledged as superheroes. Managing a disability can be a challenge, yet we wake up and do it again day after day.
And for those of us with "invisible" disabilities, there's a frustrating irony with which we contend. On the outside I look like any healthy, happy 50-something-year-old. But daily I struggle to keep my blood sugar within reason by wearing an insulin pump and blood sugar monitor on my belly, take numerous pills to keep my various auto-immune illnesses in check and, regardless of how long I've been seizure-free, am constantly in fear that one is lurking.
Allow me to share a short story with you. Before moving to New York, I volunteered in the neurology unit at a major Denver hospital. Most of the patients in the unit had epilepsy and when they learned that I shared that condition with them, they usually expressed shock that I was there on my own. "How can you go out by yourself," they asked me. "Aren't you afraid?" I told them that it never occurred to me to be worried about being out alone. I took public transportation to avoid driving, and I wore a medical ID bracelet "just in case."
The patients' surprise at my independence made me realize how much they let epilepsy prevent them from fully living their lives. Of course an epilepsy diagnosis invokes significant challenges. But there are ways to mitigate them, especially when armed with the necessary information and support.
So I created SEEZ, which stands for Support & Empower Everyone Zealously. SEEZ has two identities. It's the:
1. Fictional team of superheroes led by Epilectra who turn their disabilities into super-abilities who ban together to fight evil and make the world a better place and
2. Nonprofit with the goal of empowering people with disabilities and their loved ones to live productive and fulfilling lived by providing the necessary resources and support
This website is the beginning of what I hope will be a larger trend: A world in which having a disability isn't a roadblock to hopes and dreams, let alone the daily tasks necessary to leading an independent, happy life. It provides national resources -- from which the local equivalent can easily be determined -- for successful living, including everything from from transportation and education to vocational and emotional aide. It offers information on role models with disabilities in sports, entertainment, business, and politics, as well as thought-provoking statistics on how prevalent disabilities are in the United States. Finally, we don't take ourselves too seriously. We also a page for smiles and entertainment.
I hope that SEEZ makes your life's path a little easier, and remember, we're traveling that path together.
Founder & Executive Director
"SEEZ offers patients with disabilities many valuable resources and lots of information all in one place."
"Epilectra exemplifies people with epilepsy. Like this character, they have enormous potential if they're able to tap into it. Furthermore, it does take a type of 'superpower' to successfully manage this challenging condition."
Orrin Devinsky, MD
Director, Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, affiliated with NYU Langone Tisch Hospital, New York, NY
New York Magazine, Top Doctor for more than 20 years
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"SEEZ gives people with epilepsy and other invisible disabilities a door they can walk through into the world with confidence."
"Epilectra provides a wonderful medium through which young people can safely face the uncertainty and frustration they face."
Scott E. Hirsch, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Sue, Founder & Executive Director of SEEZ and Creator of Epilectra,
was featured by the Epilepsy Foundation of America on December 3, 2020 in honor of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The wonderful story talks about Sue's inspiration for Epilectra and how she believes anyone with a disability can be their own superhero.