Testimony from our sister Ellen Tan

ellen2Ellen Tan

Testimony given during Sunday Service, Oct. 13, 2013, at Hope Center.

Thank you for all your prayers and coming out to hear my very long story. I had epilepsy for practically all my life, since I was four years old (for people who don’t know what epilepsy is it’s when you are having a lot of seizures).

It really decreased my quality of life as I got older especially in high school where I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere despite having friends. I knew my condition was unstable and I was in denial thinking that everything would be fine.

My first semester at college was at Stony Brook. I was making a lot of friends there, but I had a severe episode and the administration expelled me from the residences and made me move out four weeks before the semester ended.

To them I was just a liability. I fell into a deep depression after that. I didn’t care about anything or anyone including my family. It was the deepest depression I ever had.

I started at Queens College in the fall of 2006 and to be among peers helped heal the hole in my heart. I started to have episodes where I wouldn’t stop seizing and my parents would send me to the ER once a month. Halfway through college I decided to take a year off to pursue my first surgery in 2008 -2009 at LIJ hospital. It got rid of those episodes, but I was still having grand mal (serious) seizures.

After my twin sister got into NYU medical school, I got the chance to meet a renown epileptologist immediately after she told her resident. When I graduated from college, I was still deciding on another surgery. The month before deciding on a second surgery, I was having seizures 7x to 10x a day. I took it to mean “God really what’s me to have the surgery!”

April 2013 was when I had the surgery done by a renown neurosurgeon. After the surgery, I was left with a speech disability and was not able to use my right hand at all. However, God has made my recovery go smoothly and swiftly. I think God made me stronger than ever through all these trials. God made a window of opportunity for the second time around and it reduced my seizures 80%.

I don’t know what’s so special about me but God does. It has made me even more persistent and determined to reach my goals, to get a masters in social work so I can help others who are disabled. That’s if He wants to get me into grad school. Maybe He’ll  find me another job that will help the disabled. You don’t know what God has planned for me or anyone else, but we have to have faith that whatever He has planned for us it is done with love.

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Join FBC in our “Into the Light” Walk for Epilepsy Awareness on November 9th. Our strong and inspirational sister, Ellen Tan, will be leading a group of us under “Team Ellen” to help raise awareness and to join the Epilepsy Foundation of Metropolitan New York in the fight to stop seizures, find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy.

Her story truly is a testimony to her strength and perseverance throughout her difficulties and God’s provision for her. We are blessed to have a sister such as herself guiding us in this walk. Sign up before October 25th to receive a “Team Ellen” t-shirt from the Epilepsy Foundation of Metropolitan New  York! Confirm with us your registration so that we may have an accurate head count! We look forward to seeing you there!

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