Chanda Gunn, November 2017
Our Volunteer of the Month for November is Chanda Gunn! Over the past 18 months, Chanda has shared an incredible amount of her volunteer time with EFNE. She contributes to the foundation in many ways, including heading up our EFNE Young Leaders Network, assisting in developing our camp programs, volunteering at camp, leading teams for our epilepsy walks, and building volunteer teams of youth to help at our many foundation events.
Our Young Leaders Network is designed for young people who want to make an impact for others with epilepsy and for their communities. Under Chanda’s direction, in just one year the program has grown to include 70 young people from all four states that we serve. The group meets monthly to build skills and friendships, has worked on advocacy initiatives and raised money to help a client acquire a service dog.
Maryellen Ianibelli, the parent of one of our Young Leaders Network participants, remarked, "One of the first words that comes to mind when I think of Chanda and her work with the Young Leaders Group is ‘gem.’ She is priceless and rare in her efforts to not only go the extra mile but to reach out to teens and young adults who are struggling with epilepsy and adolescence. Her smile radiates the rooms, playing fields, rinks and courts that she walks into. She connects with all youth and families. She is a role model who is living with epilepsy and showing all who meet her that they can rise above and beyond their diagnosis. You are not doing this alone with Chanda. She has that special gift of challenging all to ask ‘What can I do to be a better person?’”
In addition to her work with EFNE, Chanda is also an Athletes vs Epilepsy Ambassador for the national Epilepsy Foundation. In this role, she spreads awareness across the country by sharing her story, and raises funds for research by participating in Athletes vs. Epilepsy and Epilepsy Foundation events.
Our Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Elaine Kiriakopoulos, commented “Chanda Gunn is an inspiration to the epilepsy community and the volunteer community at large. Her commitment to young people living with epilepsy is remarkable. Her willingness to share her own story of resilience, tenacity and the drive to make a difference is inspiring for all. Our EFNE community is fortunate to have Chanda’s vision for supporting young people facing the challenges of living with epilepsy. Thank you Chanda, for leading the way, for encouraging the next generation to follow their dreams, for motivating them to support one another, and modeling for them the ability for each person to make a difference in the lives of others.”