The Author

bw-dmrochefordBorn and raised on Long Island, New York, Danielle was diagnosed with epilepsy at age two. Her long time pediatric neurologist treated her until twenty-two years of age.

Danielle’s epilepsy was categorized as complex partial seizures, preempted by auras each time. The auras manifested themselves through a tingling feeling, which moved up and down her back, giving the sensation of something following her from behind. Danielle quickly coined the phrase “I feel funny” as a means to let her parents or others know that she was about to have a seizure. Although many, many seizures took place throughout her childhood, teenage years and young adulthood, only a few were grand mal seizures. Nevertheless, Danielle spent years on various anti-seizure medications that presented an array of side effects.

During her ninth grade year her medication lost its therapeutic affect completely. Danielle spent all but eight weeks of that school year in the hospital, while the doctors worked to stabilize the seizures and bring a certain degree of balance back into her life. It was a most difficult period for a teenager. In the end, this struggle provided her with an inner strength that would serve her well when, years later, she faced the greatest decision of all.

After High School, Danielle attended Regis College in Massachusetts. During her college years she traveled extensively on her own, even making a five-week solo trip to Australia. It was here, while camping along the Great Barrier Reef that Danielle took advantage of an environment perfectly geared for soul searching and deep reflection.

familyUpon graduating with a BA in Communications and a minor in Sociology, Danielle decided to remain in Massachusetts. However, their state law minimum requirements were “six months seizure-free” for a license to drive. With a new neurologist in Boston, Danielle knew she would not be approved. Her independence was stripped from her almost immediately and she did not drive for six years.

After being treated with a variety of new medications, which did not yield the desired results, Danielle took a quantum leap of faith. Her decision and outcome can be found at the end of the picture book, Mommy, I Feel Funny! A Child’s Experience with Epilepsy.

Today, Danielle is happily married and still resides in Massachusetts with her husband and son. Besides being a mom, Danielle is employed part time by her husband’s law firm managing the bookkeeping, payroll and human resources. An avid supporter of various epilepsy organizations, Danielle and her husband also dedicate time and service to Boy Scouts of America, activities at their son’s school as well as several other local charitable causes.

The experiences of a childhood spent living with epilepsy have led Danielle to make a personal commitment to helping others in a variety of ways, and that brings her great joy.