Ben’s Story | Epilepsy Awareness Month

Photo of Ben Sternfeld wearing red shirt and yellow vest standing in a field surrounded by six dogs.

Hello, my name is Ben Sternfeld.

When I was a baby, I had a stroke. As a result, I started having seizures and at 18 months I was diagnosed with Epilepsy. I have difficulties with regulating emotions and I have tremors. I also sometimes have problems with cognitive functions.

When I was in middle school, I started walking an extremely nervous dog in my neighborhood named Echo. Soon after word spread, and I started getting to walk other dogs – like Tyson, a female black lab, and a springer spaniel/poodle mix named Gracie. After high school, it became my job as it remains to this day.  I love dog walking!

During a walk with a dog, I befriended a woman who knows a lot about Independence Now. I was searching for an organization to help me find semi-independent housing, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)=, and other benefits. My friends introduced me to Independence Now and helped me to get started. I became a consumer a year or two ago. My Independent Living Specialist helped me by giving me the information I needed to get on lists like the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) and SSDI and other resources that have helped me become more independent in my community.

I am excited to keep working with Independence Now and I will definitely recommend it to other people with disabilities that I know.

For more information about Epilepsy, visit

Ben’s Story | Epilepsy Awareness Month
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