Written by: Dreaming the Dream

K.I.S.H. Magazine Exclusive Interview featuring Derra Howard!

KISH: Tell us about you.

Derra: I am a Lifestyle Influencer, epilepsy advocate, owner of Line By Daye clothing, and just recently started Saving Grace Epilepsy Foundation to help people with epilepsy live a normal life.

KISH: What is your dream and how will accomplishing your dream benefit you and others?

Derra: I have so many dreams or goals. I’d say my ultimate dream is to give a voice to the voiceless by telling their stories. As well as inspiring others with my journey as an influencer. Another dream is to make sure seizure safety is universal and people won’t be discriminated for epilepsy in the workplace.

KISH: Who or what inspired you to pursue this dream?

Derra: I was inspired when I lost my last job in 2017 due to my epilepsy. This pushed me into doing everything I’m pursuing now. I started being an influencer and epilepsy advocate that year. Then in 2018, I went into the hospital for a video eeg to monitor my seizure activity and it was life-changing. My doctor (at the time) and I agreed to switch my medication, but she took me off cold turkey. I was on this medication for over a decade. This particular medication was a barbiturate and I needed to be weaned off of it, but wasn’t. For months I suffered from withdrawals and I didn’t know at the time that was the issue. Daily, I prayed to God to keep me. Then, I had a really bad seizure which resulted in a concussion. I got back on the medication and switched doctors. That experience was very scary. It taught me that life is fragile and precious. And God kept me completely. Don’t wait to do what you are destined to do. So, that’s why I pursue my dreams.

KISH: What challenges have you encountered while pursuing your dream?

Derra: It’s honestly still a journey. I realize I can’t do everything all at once. Yet, I try too. Balance is so important to me while on this journey. So I can give my undivided attention to what I’m pursuing.

KISH: Who or what inspired you to keep pushing regardless of the challenges you’ve encountered?

Derra: I would say God and my mom inspired me. I’m led by faith. I try to do what feels right and I pray and ask God for guidance. And my mom lets me know, “hey did you do this?” She keeps me in line.

KISH: Please provide final thoughts/advice for others by finishing this sentence… dream.

Derra: Dream big and constantly set goals for yourself. Don’t listen to the negativity and follow your heart. Always let God lead you.

Last modified: December 11, 2020