Sixteen-year-old Rachel McMunn has always suffered from ‘bad headaches’ but never really gave them a second thought.
After all, everyone struggles with headaches.
But all that changed one night in February 2018 when Rachel suffered a seizure, in the middle of her mock GCSE exams.
She was staying at the family home of her boyfriend Josh Inman - also aged 16 - in Horncastle.
Fortunately, Josh’s mum was on hand. Rachel was rushed to hospital where she was diagnosed with epilepsy.
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions and 600,000 people in the UK have a diagnosis.
Seven months on from the seizure and tablets have only partially helped Rachel cope.
The Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School student had to give up netball (she played for Lincolnshire) and just scraped’ though’ her GCSE’s to secure a sixth form place.
Now, Rachel and Josh have teamed up to organise an event at Horncastle Squash Club later this month (September 22) to raise vital funds for Epilepsy Research UK, the only national charity exclusively dedicated to funding research into the condition.
There will be stalls for all the family running throughout the day, ending with a raffle.
On the squash courts, from 10am-2pm, anyone, regardless of age, ability or experience, can try their hand at squash or racketball.
From from 2-6pm, there will be a charity squash tournament featuring some great prizes.
As well as money, Rachel and Josh - Lincolnshire’s top ranked U17 squash player - are determined to raise awareness about epilepsy within the local and wider community.
Rachel said: “When I was diagnosed (with epilepsy) it was a complete shock.
“I’d suffered from bad headaches but just thought they were something everyone had.
“I can’t remember much about the seizure. When I came round in hospital, I was told I had epilepsy.
“It has affected my life. I’ve always been quite sporty but I’ve had to give most sports up. I miss them, especially netball.
”I do play squash and Josh has been a massive help.
“We’ve both said we wanted to do something to raise funds for research - and raise awareness.
“We’ve had a lot of help and support from the squash club where Josh is a member.
“Family and friends have helped and hopefully people will come on the day.”
The week after the fund-raiser, Rachel will visit a specialist in Sheffield.
She hopes to have a microchip fitted in her shoulder to help reduce and control any future seizures.
She added: “I want to live as normal a life as possible but it is not that straightforward.
”There is always the worry I’ll have another seizure and it could happen anywhere and at anytime.
“I’ve been prescribed different tablets but they only help so far and there are side-effects.
“I really struggled in my GCSE’s but the school has been really supportive and I’m looking forward to starting my A-Levels.”
• If you want to contribute, visit Rachel and Josh’s sponsor page at www.justgiving.com/fund-raising/horncastlesquashclub