Stories behind Milo&Me: Alyssa
My name is Alyssa Cerchio, and I’m from New Jersey. I am 19 years old and attend
Montclair State University. My major is Public Health with a Concentration in Community Health Education. I plan to work in the healthcare industry once I graduate. Side note: a fun fact about me is that I love watching reality television.
Today, I want to share with you my personal journey with epilepsy and the remarkable
milestones I've achieved in the fight against this condition. It has been an arduous road, but
through resilience, support, and advocacy, I've managed to reach a milestone I once thought was unattainable: one-year seizure-free. At the tender age of 12, I was diagnosed with generalized epilepsy, characterized by tonic-clonic seizures. My life was soon filled with hospital visits, overnight EEGs, and various scans like CAT scans and MRIs. These were moments of uncertainty and trepidation, but they also marked the beginning of my determination to overcome the challenges that epilepsy presented.
One of the medications prescribed to manage my epilepsy journey brought an unexpected
challenge: drug-induced lupus. This added another layer of complexity to my health, but I didn't let it deter me. Instead, I used this experience as motivation to find new ways to manage my condition and inspire others facing similar obstacles. Over the years, I've dedicated myself to raising epilepsy awareness. My efforts have been driven by a passion to make a difference, and they have led me on an inspiring journey:
Proclamation for Epilepsy Awareness: I am proud to have received a proclamation for
epilepsy awareness in my town, a meaningful recognition of our collective efforts to shed
light on this condition.
Teens Speak Up: I have attended Teens Speak Up events, allowing me to share my
personal experiences and advocate for young individuals battling epilepsy through
Lemonade for Livy Fundraising: Participating in Lemonade for Livy events, I've been
able to contribute to epilepsy research and raise funds for a cause I hold dear.
New Jersey Epilepsy Board: Serving on the New Jersey Epilepsy Board gave me the
opportunity to influence policy and support the epilepsy community on a broader scale.
Epilepsy Awareness Ambassador: My current role as an Epilepsy Awareness
Ambassador allows me to engage with the community, share my story, and advocate for
Annual Neuroscience Symposium at Hackensack University: Attending events like
the annual Neuroscience Symposium at Hackensack University has broadened my
knowledge and allowed me to network with like-minded individuals.
Paint the Pony Purple: I've taken part in initiatives like "Paint the Pony Purple," where
we come together to raise epilepsy awareness in a creative and impactful way.
University Events: I've organized events at my university, bringing students and faculty
together to foster a supportive community for those affected by epilepsy.
Social Media Advocacy: Through my social media channels, I've shared my personal
journey, educated others about epilepsy, and connected with a supportive online
While my journey with epilepsy has been challenging, it has also been incredibly
rewarding. My one-year seizure-free milestone is a testament to the strength of the epilepsy
community and the importance of raising awareness. Thank you for allowing me to share my
story. Together, we can make a difference.