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Martha Curtis

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Martha has an amazing story of love of music and the determination to be seizure free by convincing a team of doctors to remove much of her right brain. Martha Curtis is a concert violinist who learned how to co-exist with epileptic seizures even from the stage. Curtis suffered from epilepsy all her life. She began playing violin at age 9 and managed to graduate as salutatorian from the Interlochen Arts Academy and graduate with honors from the Eastern School of Music. Although experiencing seizures regularly, she was able to perform as a professional musician with various orchestras. The other musicians, she says, knew what to do if she experienced a seizure.

On stage, Martha Curtis plays a tender melody from a Beethoven Symphony when a powerful force engulfs her...30 minutes later she awakens...she has suffered yet another gran mal seizure. After years of taking medication and suffering four grand mal seizures in a single month - three of them while performing on stage- she underwent the first of three major surgeries to stop the neurological storms. In 1991 Curtis, under the care of doctors from the Cleveland Clinic, underwent the first of what would become three major brain surgeries. Putting her music career at risk, she eventually had nearly 50 percent of her right temporal lobe removed. Today Martha is seizure-free and her ability to perform and memorize difficult pieces of music is greater than before the operations. Martha Curtis' success story has single-handedly changed preconceived theories about brain and memory function.

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