Andrew is a 45 year old survivor of a childhood seizure disorder born in 1970 with severe allergies. Those allergies later surfaced as a seizure disorder primarily during deep sleep that essentially interrupted immunity and then cognitive function and developmental delay.  He was one of the first pediatric patients in the world to take part in the Anti Epileptic Drug (AED) trial of Depakote in 1976 at Tufts Hospital in Boston. At the time the new class of AEDS starting with Depakote and the regulation of glutamine was used with adults with very promising results. The demand for FDA approval of Depakote for children was tantamount as childhood seizure disorders were fast on the rise resulting in astonishing numbers of new cases of childhood epileptic fatalities.   He personally experienced the positive and negative consequences of orphan drug trial studies. He received world class attention from multilateral medical specialties with diagnostics as well as cognitive therapy. However he had liver complications and failure as the dose progressed. He then was abruptly pulled off the drug in 1977 but was able to remain in cognitive therapies and began the Dr Feingold Diet that removes sugar and processed foods. These non drug based solutions also flourished as a side result of the studies increase in interest in the subject.   He was able to stabilize enough from these other treatments as well as the break in the onset of his illness that Depakote afforded him. Many other children were not as fortunate as the study ended and in a complicated legal situation they were not able to continue using the Depakote until the final approval. The fatalities that resulted left a permanent impression on Andrew that instilled his drive to understand his type of illness.


Teresa is 27 and has lived in Maine for over 20 years. She attended Keene State College and graduated with honors in 2014 with degrees in Biology and Psychology. Teresa enjoyed a semester abroad in Galway Ireland and traveled to France, Scotland and the Netherlands while abroad. During college, Teresa was an intern at Idexx labs working with animal plasma. Teresa has also interned and completed an independent study at Keene State College working with eelgrass population genetics.  Teresa worked as a Behavioral Tech III at Spring Harbor Hospital after graduating college working with aggressive teenagers whom had developmental disabilities. Teresa realized she preferred her physical safety and left Spring Harbor Hospital after 9 months. Teresa became a Children’s Case Manager at Waban Projects helping local family’s access resources for their children with special needs.  Teresa worked at Waban for three years as a Children’s Case Manager and was the Resource Coordinator for Southern Maine Parent Awareness, a program of Waban. Teresa came to Hope Springs Memorial Farm in March 2017 and started working part time as a research assistant. Teresa left Waban in June 2018 to work at Hope Springs full time. Teresa is now the full time apprentice/assistant helping to organize and manage daily needs at the farm.