Osler scholarship recipient says Purple Day founder has been an inspiration

September 11, 2017

By Deron Hamel

Sarah Picotte says Cassidy Megan has been an important source of inspiration in her life.

Cassidy was just nine years old when she launched the first Purple Day to raise worldwide epilepsy awareness on March 26, 2008. Sarah is the same age Cassidy, and like Cassidy, she is also living with epilepsy.

Sarah Picotte, one of the five recipients of this year’s Osler Epilepsy Scholarship, is seen here holding her award alongside Epilepsy Ontario executive director Paul Raymond and Epilepsy Ottawa executive director Nikki Porter.

And also like Cassidy, Sarah has refused to let epilepsy control her life. A recent graduate of Rideau High School in Ottawa, Sarah is enrolled in the developmental services worker program at Algonquin College. She hopes to work with children with special needs after she completes her post-secondary education.

“Cassidy has shown me that I can face epilepsy and just deal with it,” says Sarah, who had her first seizure when she was just 13 months old. “She just wants to help people, and that’s what I want to do.”

To date, Sarah has put in more than 260 volunteer hours in her community. She notes how Cassidy has spent much of the past nine years travelling the world to educate others about epilepsy, which has also been inspirational to Sarah.

The two young women even met on Purple Day 2014 in Ottawa, where they had a chance to talk and go skating together.

“Cassidy’s life has shown me that someone with epilepsy can do anything they set their mind to,” Sarah says. “(Cassidy) hasn’t let epilepsy ruin her life, and I won’t let it ruin my life either.”

Sarah is one of the recipients of this year’s Osler Epilepsy Scholarship. The $1,500 scholarship, formerly called the OBCL Epilepsy Scholarship, is being offered to five students this year.

Osler Epilepsy Scholarships are awarded each year to exceptional students who have confronted and overcome remarkable barriers in their academic and personal lives due to their epilepsy.

Applicants also submit an essay about how epilepsy has impacted their lives as well as an outline of their future plans.

If you have feedback on this story, or have a story of your own that you would like to share, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

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