BRYANT, Ark. — Doctors diagnosed 6th-grader Braxton Johnson with Epilepsy in March 2019.
While he’s adjusting to the diagnosis, he’s helping spread the word about his neurological disorder at Bryant Middle School.
“Some kids are embarrassed of epilepsy,” said Braxton. “With this, I’ve had to modify some things in my life.”
Braxton has changed his life, from cutting back on sugar and caffeine to monitoring his phone-screen time, which are all triggers to his seizures.
Instead of getting embarrassed or scared, he’s decided to look at it as an advantage.
"Kids aren't supposed to be perfect,” said Braxton.
He's teaching those around him about his seizures and how they can be helpful during an epileptic episode.
“There’s three words I want them to know,” said Braxton. “They are 'stay, safe, and side.'”
Stay, Safe, and Side are all life-saving tools if someone sees another person having a seizure.
The words mean stay with the person and time the seizure, keep the person safe, and turn them on their side if they are not aware or awake.
"He amazes us every day and inspires us,” said Jennifer Baker-Johnson, Braxton’s mom.
His mom is working outside of the school doors to help educate the community.
"In Arkansas, we don't have an epilepsy foundation chapter,” said Johnson.
She’s working with state legislators to get funding for research and support systems for other children with epilepsy.
It’s a battle that's hard for her to watch her son fight.
"It changes so much of your daily routine because it's more than just seizures, it's mood swings, extreme tiredness, and headaches,” said Johnson.
It’s why her fight to help her son and others will continue.
“Awareness is so important, it’s just so important,” said Johnson.
November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month nationwide.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, 150,000 people are diagnosed with the disorder each year.