It was difficult for Brook to learn that he has epilepsy, but, oddly enough, it eventually became a relief. He finally understood why he would miss entire plays during a hockey game and why he would miss pieces of what his teachers were saying in school.
Epilepsy ended up making Brook a stronger person. It taught him to persist and work hard to achieve success. This new understanding of his life as a student, athlete, and patient gave him direction. Brook helped contribute to a study on genetic idiopathic epilepsy and soon realized his desire to become a neurologist. He has joined countless epilepsy awareness campaigns, including representing Vermont at Teens Speak Up! There he lobbied legislators to support National Health Institute funding for research of neurological diseases.
What does he have ahead? He is training with the Mansfield Nordic Team and trying to make the New England High School Championships. His first-year Nordic skiing he made the U16 Vermont team. Last year in his second year of skiing, he made the top 10 in Freestyle and Classic at the Vermont State Championships and was named to the Vermont All-State Team!
This summer, Brook was invited to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to use CRISPR-Cas9 technology to modify genes. He has applied to several colleges and is either looking at molecular genetics or neurology. Last month he was named a National Hispanic Scholar for my PSAT scores and received the Harvard Book Award from his high school. He sat for an interview at the start of the school year for the local paper in an effort to de-stigmatize epilepsy and spread awareness and hope.