DOCUMENTING EPILEPSY: Hamilton native Louis Stanislaw grew up with epilepsy but kept it a secret from friends and teachers.
Now a filmmaker, he explores the effect the complex disorder has on sufferers and their families in the documentary “On the Edge: Living with Epilepsy.”
The film’s debut screening is at the Pingree School in Hamilton on Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
According to Stanislaw’s website, www.epilepsyonthe- edge.com, epilepsy affects 3 million people directly in the United States, and millions more through family members, friends, co-workers, and caregivers. Still, it is widely misunderstood.
“Life with epilepsy can be unpredictable,” Stanislaw said. “Medicines that control seizures can have staggering side effects. Seizures can be frightening and dangerous. They can be mistaken for aggression, with tragic results. Reactions and improper treatment can have devastating consequences. In a life with daunting hurdles, ignorance is usually the biggest one for people with epilepsy.”
“On the Edge” — told through Stanislaw’s own experience and the stories of other epilepsy patients, their families, and health care providers — documents difficulties and misunderstandings at every turn: from family life to school and friends, to leaving home and starting a career and forming lasting bonds.
It looks at the alienation, depression, and loneliness that epilepsy can bring. And it dispels myths that surround epilepsy, ultimately seeking a path to understanding, effective treatment, and a cure.
Stanislaw is a graduate of Pingree, Oberlin College, and the International Film School of Paris.
He will introduce the film at Pingree and be available to answer questions after the screening. A reception also follows the film.
The event is open to the public and free. Call 978-468-4415 or visit www.pingree.org.
For $5, participants can make five climbs using Trublue auto belays, which are suitable for climbers of any level and provide climbing support without a partner, even for those who have never climbed before.
All proceeds benefit Wounded Warrior, a nonprofit that aids and supports wounded service members. Trublue has pledged to match the night’s donation total up to $500.
The event runs 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Call 781- 935-7325 or visit www.bostonrockgym.com.
MUSIC THROUGH THE AGES: The Northern Essex Community College Chorus presents a holiday music showcase Sunday on the college’s Haverhill campus.
“The chorus’s repertoire covers a 600-year span,” said Alisa Bucchiere, chorus director. “You can expect to hear everything from William Byrd to Regina Spektor. And Mozart, Handel, and Irving Berlin are included in the program.”
Soloists include Dan Smith of Haverhill and Rebecca O’Barr Salib of North Andover.
The performance is at 2 p.m. in the David Hartleb Technology Center. Admission is $5 and tickets may be purchased at the door.
For additional information, contact Bucchiere at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Dawna M. Perez, associate dean of access and community
building at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill and Lawrence, recently received the annual Community Service Award from Community Teamwork Inc. A native of North Andover currently living with her husband and four sons in Haverhill, Perez was selected from among 12 nominees. Community Teamwork Inc. is a nonprofit community action agency and regional nonprofit housing agency serving Greater Lowell. . . . Grace Turner of Lynn was chosen by a national chain of children’s hair salons as its 2012 Snip-its Kid. She was chosen during a national model search that had many candidates from across the country. Contest finalists were selected and posted to the Snip-its Facebook page. Turner received the highest number of community votes at 1,706. Bobbie Bush Photography in Salem was chosen by Snip-its’ corporate office to photograph Turner’s modeling head shot, which is being used in the national Snip-its Kid campaign.