5th Grader Raises Narcolepsy Awareness at School

Daishia West VirginiaThis past year has been very tough for Daishia, age 11, who was recently diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy. In addition to narcolepsy, she is also dealing with a seizure disorder, migraines and obstructive and central sleep apnea.

“I wish I could take all her pain and struggles away and make things easier for her,” describes her mother, Jess.

Daishia West Virginia 2Daishia felt very alone in her struggles, until her mom introduced her to the NARCOLEPSY: NOT ALONE campaign and they joined a local support group in West Virginia that meets every three months. Daishia now knows that she is NOT battling this alone.

Daishia wanted to learn more about narcolepsy so she decided to do her 5th grade social studies project on the disorder. Her amazing presentation won first prize – psychology in her class, and she is moving on to the county’s social studies fair – raising even more narcolepsy awareness in her community!

In addition to her classwork, Daishia is a hard-working athlete. She wasn’t able to play basketball this year for health reasons, but she is currently undergoing physical therapy for muscle activation.

Daisha First Place Certificate Social StudiesDaishia is really excited to have a physical therapist working with one on one, because she is preparing for her favorite sport, softball! She is also going to start swimming on Saturdays.

Her goals are to be able to run as fast as she use to run a couple years ago, have more energy, and be able to play softball this spring. She also enjoys reading, making bracelets, riding horses, playing board games and anything with arts and crafts.

Daishia, you are proof that young superheroes live amongst us. Not everyone may see your incredible determination and spirit, but we do. You’re an inspiration and role model and we are cheering for you!

Daishia West Virginia 3



  1. Beth Kosiewicz on February 1, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Daisha you are AWSOME AND NOT ALONE!!! My daughter first developed her Narcolepsy symptoms at the end of second grade and was diagnosed by the end of third grade. She too was a student athlete who played softball (her first love),
    volleyball, basketball, and some swimming at one point. She also loves reading, dogs, horses, and dolphins! The only difference was that she didn’t want to talk about her Narcolepsy and how it impacted her life. She is now 18 and has had many challenges over the years because of her N. Just stay STRONG and be PROUD of your accomplishments!! If you or your mom ever want to connect online, I am part of Midwest narcolepsy Support group or you can just look under my name on Facebook. CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN!!!!
    Best of Luck at the

    • Jessica Gainer on August 13, 2015 at 8:43 pm

      Hi Beth! This is Daishia’s mom. Everything you mentioned about your daughter my daughter loves. It’s hard to believe how similar they really are. I will look you up on facebook and would like more information on the online support group. Thank you for your kind words!

  2. Aimee on April 7, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I was diagnosed when I was around the same age! 27 now and also from WV. It’s awesome that you’re spreading awareness and doing what you can to maintain your dreams! Kudos to you, Daishia. I’m still having a hard time finding a support group in my area, though. Can’t drive so I try to find something online.

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