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Sharon’s Ride for Epilepsy San Diego

Depending on when you met me in the epilepsy community, you may know me as a poised advocate who always seems to have his camera or you might know me as a nervous neurological wreck. When I first visited the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County last February, I was the awkward version of myself.

Sharon's Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy 2014 was held on Sunday March 30, in San Diego, California. The 15th Annual event benefits the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. (bryan farley)

This year I was much more comfortable. I knew the routine and I even recognized some of the people from last year’s event.

Sharon's Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy 2014 was held on Sunday March 30, in San Diego, California. The 15th Annual event benefits the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. (bryan farley)

People seemed to recognize me too! On the day before this year’s walk, I visited the office. I was much more relaxed. I want to say that I acted like myself, but that is only partially true. I also acted like myself when I was nervous and scared. Sharon’s Ride, and similar events, helps me feel less scared.

Sharon's Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy 2014 was held on Sunday March 30, in San Diego, California. The 15th Annual event benefits the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. (bryan farley)

If you want to see more photographs from the event, you can jump to the photo slideshow. I shot about 700 images, which is not many for an event with about 2500 people. I will add more photos to my gallery during the next week. If you have special requests, please comment on Facebook to keep the thread active. If you do not use FB, you can always use the comment section below. ( Nubry’s Britt and Gretchen might have social media suggestions posted on their site.)

Sharon's Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy 2014 was held on Sunday March 30, in San Diego, California. The 15th Annual event benefits the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. (bryan farley)

Two other photographers shot the team photos and finish line photos. As links to those images become available, I will try to include a link at the end of this post. One “official photographer” is responsible for me being interviewed by the local news station yesterday. I have heard from several people that I did OK on air. If that link becomes available, I will attach it too. Did anyone see the newscast? I am grateful to discuss how events such as these are improving lives like mine.

Added on 4/1/14

Sharon's Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy 2014 was held on Sunday March 30, in San Diego, California. The 15th Annual event benefits the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. (bryan farley)

Thank you for all the compliments. I am excited that you enjoy my work. The first twenty plus years, I did not see that epilepsy was a gift. If I could have returned epilepsy to God or the epilepsy store, I would have done so. At best, I had the March Madness motto towards epilepsy, “survive and advance.” Just, survive and advance.

Sharon's Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy 2014 was held on Sunday March 30, in San Diego, California. The 15th Annual event benefits the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. (bryan farley)

Now I feel like celebrating with my epilepsy family every day, so I travel to events and share my pictures. I also share my emotions, because that is what families do. We support each other. I believe that Jim Valvano, the former North Carolina State coach coined the “survive and advance” phrase about the NCAA Tournament. Shortly before he died from cancer, he spoke about living a full day. “If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day.” Living with epilepsy is a full day… a good day.

You can spend a full day just trying to finding my event photos inside the blog. I have tried to post a few links here to make it easier. If you really prefer Facebook, I added more photos on my Bryan Farley Facebook page HERE. You can tag, share and comment there if you wish too. You can also view the slideshow on my website. I re-posted it HERE. Eventually, someone will find my KUSI interview and post in the comments.

Thank you,

bf


National Walk for Epilepsy – Purple Day

On Saturday, I participated in the 2014 National Walk for Epilepsy in Washington, DC. It was the fifth time I attended the national event and the Epilepsy Foundation’s 8th annual walk. Today is also international Purple Day. Purple Day was started by Cassidy Megan in 2008 when she was just a kid. (She is still just a kid.) Sometimes, it takes a kid to do something important.

 (bryan farley)

Purple is our color. I know other groups claim it too, but for us, it rains purple. One day, I hope that the rest of the world will see more purple rain. I want people to see monuments and museums and memories for purple people. Some say that it takes a village, but it might take a village idiot to accomplish my goals. I might be that village idiot.

 (bryan farley)

Orange is the new purple this year. Orange was everywhere. There were orange gloves, orange flags and orange superheroes too. 

 (bryan farley)

The superheroes were created by Medikidz. Medikidz are a group of smart dedicated people. Medikidz comics teach children about difficult medical conditions. Most of the people enjoyed Medikidz and the Medikidz characters really seemed to enjoy the event. My photographs might show that characters are not always welcome at epilepsy events. At epilepsy walks, I feel less guarded. It is the one of the few days of the year that I do not need to wear a costume. There is a place for Medikidz at our events. If you look through the slideshow, you will see other people really enjoyed the characters.

 (bryan farley)

This year my mother and step-father attended the national event with me. We live in California, so this might be the only time we attend the national event together. I think that this was my mother’s first trip to Washington, DC. I hope that we return together. I barely photographed us during the walk. The walk happened so fast.

 (bryan farley)

Towards the end of the walk, I saw Coach Jerry Kill, Kirsten Wrye Krienes and Kristin Mulligan. (Mulligan was Glinda from last year’s post.) I saw angels who were willing to join the fight. I saw friends I have known online. At the Martin Luther King, jr Memorial, I photographed a group with “End Epilepsy” shirts standing between two large rocks. It was a present day “Catch 22.” Those of us with epilepsy now have 22 medications to fight epilepsy. (In 1993, we had four.) We are still caught between side effects and managing epilepsy. Some of us are doing quite well. Many people with epilepsy do not survive.

 (bryan farley)

Now this is a shirt of a different color.

When I think of Sheryl Crow, I think of the song “Strong Enough.” The song haunts me. While I have been fortunate to have been loved, I have also been told that I was not strong enough. It was not the punches thrown in the air that hurt, but the ones that landed. Was I strong enough? Perhaps not, but I know that I did not get any Steve McQueen purple strong points for having epilepsy. 

Nothing’s true when nothing’s right…but there was a lot right Saturday. I am still alive. I am still fighting. I am grateful that when I am finished, my name can be included on a remembrance flag.

See the gallery here.

 

 


Emotion Blur – Part 311, Brainstorm

I got to tell you something…

The 2013 Sharon's Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy was on Sunday, April 14, 2013 at De Anza Cove at Mission Bay Park in San Diego, California. The event benefits The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. (bryan farley)

Today is 311 day. (March 11.) 311 is a band. 311 can be many other things too, from a government help line to a fictional area code. I am posting tonight so that my Advanced Photography students can learn more about me as a photographer with epilepsy. This week I have assigned a great deal of writing. I thought I would give them the chance to create extra work for me if they wish. (It is my version of extra credit.)

The 2013 Sharon's Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy was on Sunday, April 14, 2013 at De Anza Cove at Mission Bay Park in San Diego, California. The event benefits The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. (bryan farley) I took these photographs last April in San Diego at the 2013 Sharon’s Ride Run Walk for Epilepsy. The event benefited the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. This photo was taken before the photo at the top of the post.

The 2013 Sharon's Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy was on Sunday, April 14, 2013 at De Anza Cove at Mission Bay Park in San Diego, California. The event benefits The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. (bryan farley)This photo was taken after the other photos.

So, what brings me here? When I look at the first photo, I realize that I see things differently than most people and that I might be cursed. Like the mythical Cassandra, I have a gift to predict, yet I won’t be believed. All three of these photos are decent, but the first photo caputures many more layers.

516. I was born on May 16. I saw the 516 bib when I took the photo. I saw the 311 bib too and began singing “Amber” (“Brainstorm, take me away from the norm….)  Epilepsy is a neurological condition so brainstorms are relevant. I saw the sign for Cassandra’s Kisses and I quickly incorporated the Greek Myth into the photograph. People with epilepsy are often disbelieved until it is too late.

In this photo, I processed many moving parts rapidly and composed a photo with a strong visual narrative. I do not think that most people can do this. I do not know how to turn it off.

Later this month, I am going to attend the 2014 National Walk for Epilepsy in Washington, D.C. this month. I will also photograph the 2014 event in San Diego. On May 17th 2014, I plan to participate in the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California walk.

shades of gold displayed naturally….