DEKALB (WREX) – Questions began surrounding Edith Reynolds when she was 5 years old.
She was going through changes that her mother Mary couldn’t explain.
“Her eyes were rolling back in her head and fluttering. So they wanted to know if she was having seizures and I said I don’t know anything about seizures,” said Mary Reynolds.
Doctors diagnosed Edith with Epilepsy.
Growing up with the condition was tough for Edith. It made it difficult to connect with others and express herself.
“I was a very, very shy person,” said Edith Reynolds.
“I would hide behind my mom and say ‘mom say something for me, say something for me. I don’t want to speak. I don’t want to speak.'”
It wasn’t until high school that Edith would find her voice, with help from the Epilepsy Foundation in DeKalb.
“All it took was somebody understanding and giving her an opportunity to prove herself,” said DeKalb Epilepsy Foundation Director Veronica Garcia-Martinez.
Before getting help from the foundation, Edith was told she would never graduate high school or make it in college.
She now has a high school diploma and a straight A report card at Kishwaukee College.
Edith still spends time at the Epilepsy Foundation, helping others work through the same challenges she did.
“I like working with kids and I wanted to know more about Epilepsy,” said Edith.
She’s someone the foundation says is essential to their program.
“She went from needing us to us needing her,” said Garcia Martinez.
“The kids love her and she’ll do her best to understand them.”
Edith has come a long way to break through her shyness and she has a message for anyone who is struggling to find their way.
“Just never give up. That’s the biggest thing I tell people. Never give up. Fight for it because if you give it up you aren’t going to go anywhere.”
Edith is currently focusing on her education at Kishwaukee College before turning her attention to qualifying as a swimmer for the Special Olympics.