By Deron Hamel
Taylor Thomas is planning to use her talents and education to help others living with seizure disorders.
Taylor, who is working towards a BA in psychology with a focus on neuropsychology at Brock University, says she has been inspired by the people who have helped her flourish in life while managing her epilepsy.
Another motivation for Taylor has been her brother, who also lived with epilepsy, and passed away after suffering a seizure in his sleep in June.
“If someone like future me could have stepped in with a neurologist’s help quicker, more efficiently, with better support and proper medication, he could have had a chance to live,” Taylor says.
Dr. Sean Robb, a neuropsychologist whom Taylor has worked with during the past six years, has been a role model and “inspiration for my schooling,” Taylor says.
Taylor says she hopes to make an impact on other people’s lives the way Dr. Robb has made an impact on her life.
“I could quite literally be the change in a patient’s life – both the quality and in general – as Dr. Robb was in mine,” she says.
Since being diagnosed and medicated for her epilepsy, Taylor says she has “flourished” and is looking forward to continuing to use what she characterizes as her greatest strength – compassion – to help others.
Taylor is also an active volunteer, donating her social-media skills to Oak Centre Clubhouse, a Welland, Ont.-based alternative community support service, as well as participating in several boards and committees in the area that are dedicated to improving community health centres.
Additionally, Taylor served six years with the Canadian Cadet Program where she earned many prestigious awards and positions.
Taylor says her greatest accomplishments so far have been academic ones.
“My largest triumph thus far would be graduating high school then going to college, (and) now it is being accepted into Brock University,” she says. “This is because it took me many extra years to graduate due to my disabilities, but I did it and did well (and) I didn’t quit.”
Taylor is one of six recipients of Epilepsy Ontario’s 2023 annual scholarship. For more than 15 years, Epilepsy Ontario has been providing scholarships to exceptional students who have confronted and overcome remarkable barriers in their academic and personal lives due to their epilepsy.