The actor was 20 when he died last July after suffering a seizure in his sleep due to epilepsy

By Aurelie Corinthios
May 08, 2020 12:30 PM
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After losing her son Cameron Boyce last year, Libby Boyce is preparing to mark her first Mother's Day without him.

The Descendants star was 20 when he died suddenly last July after suffering a seizure in his sleep due to epilepsy, three years after he was diagnosed with the disorder. In an essay for Good Morning America, Libby reflected openly on her grief.

"Mother's Day is a cherished day for mothers across the nation," she began. "For others, it can be a day of reflection for those who have a challenging relationship with their children; or a day of regret for those who never had children; or it can be a day of sheer grief for those who have lost a child."

"This is where my Mother's Day 2020 story begins," she continued. "I lost my son Cameron Boyce on July 6, 2019 at the age of 20 to something called Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), which is something I had never heard of prior to losing Cameron. SUDEP occurs when otherwise healthy individuals with epilepsy die during a seizure."

"I intend to use my voice on behalf of these moms to bring a face to this tragic issue and to bring attention to epilepsy; the most common disease that we know the least about," she vowed.

Throughout the essay, Libby remembered her son's talent, creativity and passion for music, dance, and acting.

"His other passions were his family and his best friends. Everyone loved him and felt good around him," she recalled. "They were drawn into his warmth and rootedness. He was authentic and genuine with no airs or need to be the center of attention. Cameron and I were extremely close, and we talked about everything. He once told me that he couldn’t wait for me to be older, so that he could take care of me."

"These past 10 months have been life-changing for me in a way that is beyond words," she admitted. "You can't compare it to anything because it is a trauma that is dissimilar to anything in the world. It has created a gaping hole that is raw and gut-wrenching."

Libby paid tribute to other mothers who have lost children to SUDEP and shared their stories. She also pointed to K(no)SUDEPNOW, the family's initiative to bring awareness and to end SUDEP. The campaign was launched by the Cameron Boyce Foundation in partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation and the SUDEP Institute.

Donations can be made at KNOWSUDEPNOW.org, and funds raised will go towards epilepsy research.

"I refuse to think that Cameron died in vain," Libby wrote. "One in 26 people live with epilepsy and everyone likely knows someone with epilepsy. Epilepsy can be a lethal medical condition, yet very few people think of epilepsy as potentially life-threatening."

"It is something that has for far too long been swept under the carpet," she continued. "And I hope that sharing Cameron's story and the stories of other SUDEP mom warriors will be the catalyst for change."