VGH Epilepsy Clinic / Seizure Investigation Unit
Amount Raised

Why We're Fundraising


Since the age of 15 I've had thousands of seizures; some were fairly minor and after others I'm lucky to be alive. With epilepsy you never truly know what each day brings. It can be one of the most constructive and happy days you've had and you feel great. Then you wake up on the floor in someone's arms, or after falling out of the shower, or surrounded by police because you just drove off the road. I experienced all three of those but must say waking up from my first tonic clonic was the scariest; I came to with a bedroom full of police and the first thing my eyes focused on, two feet from my head, was the gun on a cop's hip. Over 13 years ago but so vivid it seems like last week.

A certain amount of epilepsy patients have the fortune of successful medication; and many feel like what we refer to as 'guinea pigs,' trying medication after medication that doesn't work. That was me for 17 years until a lesion was found on my left temporal lobe... no matter what I did or meds I tried it would continue to get worse. There is no way to describe the feeling of hearing that news. Cried for months.

The only option left was brain surgery, and there is only one way to determine if an adult with epilepsy is a surgery candidate - in BC it is the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) Epilepsy Clinic Seizure Investigation Unit (SIU). The unit pictures show what was later realized to be the first day of an entirely new life. Albeit my stubborn brain took 17 days to have enough seizures for the team to determine if i was a candidate. Three weeks after I went home they called to say I was. To be honest it was an awful reality, and much agony and fear set in; what was I doing? Was I going to make it? What if I died? What if I had to learn to walk and talk again?

All that fear considered, continuing a life of seizures and no independence was not a choice I was going to make; at age 34 there was so much life left to live. So I stood in the hospital, said goodbye to my loved ones, and told myself there was no looking back (ongoing joke was that I'd still have time to bail until my booties were on). The doctors, nurses and staff made me feel so safe there are no words; after putting those comfy booties on and waiting for the OR bed to pick me up there was not another tear. That was almost four years ago, and so much of my life has changed (went back to school and became an epilepsy fundraiser, to name a few). This hospital and its people are so embedded in my heart, in my survival, it's my turn to give back.

Epilepsy affects over 65 million people worldwide and 1 in 100 in Canada - MORE THAN multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, and Parkinson's disease COMBINED. World Health Organization states epilepsy as a worldwide serious health concern, accounting for 1% of the global burden of disease - equivalent to lung cancer in men and breast cancer in women.

More than 32,000 adults in BC have epilepsy, with over 7,000 being possible brain surgery candidates. Yet, the VGH Seizure Investigation Unit, needed to determine surgery candidacy, has only TWO beds. Diagnosis is on the rise, and BC is one of the most underfunded provinces in researching and fighting this life-threatening disease.

March is Epilepsy Month across Canada and in 2014 I founded the epilepsy support and SIU fundraising group epilepsyQuesnel (eQ). We are working along with VGH for the funding of an additional two beds; eQ will assist the Epilepsy Clinic in their provincial goal until SIU 3 and 4 are in, and the wait list for lives to be saved is cut IN HALF.

eQ's March SIU campaigns of 2014/15/16/17, supported by both local and provincial residents alike, raised a total of $18,530. One of the most loved items is Quesnel Bakery's cookies for epilepsy; in just 18 weeks 6,900 cookies were purchased! It is a real honour to live in such a caring and giving city - and let's be proud - only city in BC fundraising for this area of the hospital. As of year five, in March 2018, our goal is to bring the total to $25,000!

The safety and hope that VGH's Epilepsy Clinic team provides is second to none. Epileptologists Dr. Manouchehr Javidan, Dr. Chantelle Hrazdil, Dr. Farzad Moien-Afshari (co-creator of Canada's first brain bank for epilepsy!), and Neurosurgeon Dr. Gary Redekop are among the top in the country; for adults with epilepsy that can't get their seizures under control, I highly recommend asking your doctor for a referral.

With love, Natasha Wasmuth/eQ Founder & 1,424 days tonic clonic free (June 2/17)

My Team

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Anonymous Supporter donated an undisclosed amount
May 12, 2017 1:17 PM
Natasha Wasmuth donated an undisclosed amount
Dec 1, 2015 2:37 PM
Anonymous Supporter donated $100.00
Nov 30, 2015 8:17 AM
Kenna Hoskins donated an undisclosed amount
Mar 25, 2015 3:36 PM
Anonymous Supporter donated an undisclosed amount
Mar 25, 2015 12:34 PM
Donna Reedy donated an undisclosed amount
Mar 25, 2015 11:49 AM
Paul Choudhury donated an undisclosed amount
Mar 25, 2015 9:13 AM
Anonymous Supporter donated an undisclosed amount
Mar 24, 2015 8:58 PM
Miah Phelps donated an undisclosed amount
Mar 24, 2015 3:55 PM
Aunt Cathy Arndt donated $100.00
Feb 21, 2015 4:24 PM
Patricia St Laurent donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 18, 2015 10:38 AM
Patricia St Laurent left a message
Feb 18, 2015 10:35 AM
Natasha - you are an inspiration to others. Thank you for sharing your story and for raising awareness and money for programs that will support others with Epilepsy. You rock!
Brian Curry donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 4, 2015 2:31 PM
Samantha Williams donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 4, 2015 9:16 AM
Nat. left a message
Feb 1, 2015 3:55 PM
THANK YOU EVERYONE! from myself and all epilepsy patients who greatly need the SIU.
Kurt left a message
Feb 1, 2015 2:23 PM
So proud of you
Kurt & Brenda Anderson donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 1, 2015 2:20 PM
Samantha left a message
Jan 29, 2015 9:57 AM
Natasha, you are an inspiration!
Leah Drewcock left a message
Jan 9, 2015 1:33 PM
Amazing story Natasha!
Ed McEwen donated an undisclosed amount
Dec 15, 2014 9:40 AM
Anonymous Supporter donated an undisclosed amount
Dec 11, 2014 11:13 AM
Anonymous Supporter donated an undisclosed amount
Dec 10, 2014 2:46 PM
Melanie left a message
Dec 9, 2014 4:07 PM
You are such an inspiration. Thank you for working so hard for everyone living with epilepsy.
Melanie Medina donated $40.00
Dec 9, 2014 4:06 PM