A 15-year-old girl from Bacup is spearheading a campaign to raise awareness about epilepsy after her diagnosis.

Pippa Meadowcroft’s journey began at the age of 14 when she was diagnosed with epilepsy after experiencing a seizure in a maths lesson two years earlier.

Pippa’s mum Audrey says she doctors initially “put it down to something that can just happen” and Pippa was fine for nine months but then started having them regularly.

Audrey said: “The doctors said they couldn’t diagnose her without video evidence but taking a video of your child when they’re having a seizure is the last thing on my mind so it took a while for a diagnosis.

"An ECG test was used to diagnose Pippa in 2022 and has been on medication since.

“We’ve always told Pippa to carry on doing what she loves so she still does acting at a theatre and models for a company called Cotton Candy Wear.

“However, she is scared and has quite bad anxiety because we’re not sure when the next seizure is going to come. As a family, we’ve had to adapt to that and make sure we’re alert.”

Describing what it’s like to live with epilepsy, Pippa said: “It’s hard because I’ve got to make sure I stay with someone because if I have a seizure on my own it may not end well.

"I’ve always had anxiety since I was young but having epilepsy has made it worse.”

As a 'young supporter' for Young Epilepsy, Pippa plans to use funds she saves after leaving school to purchase epilepsy packs, which she aims to donate to schools across England. 

Despite being in Year 11, she says she has never had a single lesson about epilepsy, except in the context of her Duke of Edinburgh lessons.

She said: "It's very misunderstood. I've been accused of faking seizures to have time off school. This is unacceptable and something needs to change."

Audrey said: “I think people think if someone’s not having a seizure then they’re okay but that’s not the case. She suffers a lot from medication side effects which means her education is disrupted. It has impacted her teen years a lot which isn’t fair on Pippa.”

Pippa's experience has not only motivated her to create a Change.org petition, garnering more than 600 signatures, but also to document her journey on social media, offering a glimpse into the daily life of a teenager living with epilepsy.

Her efforts haven't gone unnoticed as she has been nominated for a National Diversity Award and says she will continue to advocate as much as she can.

To support Pippa’s mission, you can sign the petition at change.org.