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My Story

Trysten Johnathan Pearson​

​​​Trysten was born in Houston, Texas, in July 2001. He is 16 years old, attends Odyssey Academy on Galveston Island and lives in Galveston County, Texas, with his mother. Trysten’s father lives in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia, and visits once a year for a month of summer fun and excursions. 

Trysten’s story of epilepsy begins with a diagnosis of Grand Mal-Tonic Clonic Seizures and a mild heart condition, Sinus Arrhythmia, at age 12 in August 2013 while visiting family in Huntsville, Texas. After his diagnosis, he found that having epilepsy was not easy to talk about with others which left him feeling alone and excluded. After spending three weeks in the hospital and being told to hide his condition to keep from being held back in life, he and his mother decided it was time to make a difference by raising awareness. It was time to talk about it!

In February 2014, Trysten became one of the co-founders of the Galveston County Epilepsy Awareness Support Group, in partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation Texas, Houston/Dallas-Fort Worth/West Texas. The group has more than 100 members to date. Trysten realized he is not alone, he is 1 in 26.

By October of that same year, at age 13, he established the UTMB Epilepsy Fund at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. This fund supports Dr. Todd Masel’s Epilepsy Program in the Department of Neurology. Trysten hopes to someday see Galveston County build a Pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring Unit so that children like him do not have to travel outside the county for this service.

With November being “National Epilepsy Awareness Month”, he worked with the city of Galveston on a 2014 proclamation from the mayor to recognize this special month of awareness each year.

As an advocate of the Epilepsy Foundation Texas - Houston/Dallas-Fort Worth/West Texas, Trysten has delivered 20 presentations since his diagnosis through his Boy Scout Troop 192 - Galveston on First Aid in Epilepsy, with his largest crowd to date being 66 Rotary Club members.  


Other Highlights:

  • May, 2015 - Galveston County Lemonade Day Business of the Year recipient, donating 100 percent of his $1,000 profit to epilepsy programs
  • November, 2015 - Danny Did Foundation grant recipient to attend Epilepsy Awareness Day Disneyland, California
  • April, 2016 - Teens Speak Up! Texas Representative and Conference Speaker, selected by the Epilepsy Foundation of America and the Epilepsy Foundation Texas - Houston, hosted in Washington, D.C. 
    • ​Sessions with Congressman Randy Weber, Representative Judge Ted Poe, Senator John Cornyn and Senator Ted Cruz
  • April, 2016 - Interview by KGNS News - Gray Television, "Bringing CBD Oil Across the Country", Washington, D.C.
  • May, 2016 - Galveston County Lemonade Day Business of the Year recipient, donating 100 percent of his $1,500 profit to epilepsy programs
  • June, 2016 - George P. Mitchell Ethics Award recipient and recognition by the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce, in Galveston, Texas
  • August, 2016 - Featured in the New York Times on "A Risk for Sudden Death in Epilepsy That Often Goes Unmentioned" written by Gina Kolata
  • October, 2016 - Featured in the Galveston County The Daily News on "Teen with epilepsy works to lead normal life with help of friend" written by Chacour Koop
  • November, 2016 - Through presentations at City Council Meetings, established 4 proclamations for "National Epilepsy Awareness Month" in collaboration with city mayors within Galveston County: City of Texas City, Hitchcock, Friendswood and League City. 


Trysten has a heart as big as Texas with a great passion to help others and wants you to know that, regardless of epilepsy, he still enjoys his love of swimming, fishing, camping, and sailing. This condition will never slow him down as he travels and sails through life!