Rebecca Recalde

UCLA Health article

Hometown: Costa Mesa, CAGame: UCLA vs. Washington State

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Rebecca was a perfectly healthy toddler. Then, suddenly, she began having uncontrollable seizures – as many as 80 per day.

“Picture not even being able to do anything with your child, not being able to hold a conversation or anything,” says her mother, Edwina.

At just 3 years old, Rebecca was diagnosed with epilepsy and underwent brain surgery at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. She had a second surgery when she was 8. Rebecca, who performed ballet and tap dance, had to relearn the most basic activities.

“I’d struggle because I had to learn to walk and talk again,” she says.

Rebecca, now 15, is able to enjoy her favorite hobbies, including painting, writing poetry, listening to music, reading action fantasy books, crocheting, running independent service projects, hanging out with friends, boogie boarding and dancing. She also has excelled in the classroom, earning acceptance into the National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society.

Rebecca hopes to spread more awareness about epilepsy and attend college.

“I’m very grateful to be selected Kid Captain,” she says. “To bring awareness to epilepsy and to educate others, it’s a big deal. Out of all the opportunities I’ve had in my lifetime, it’s the biggest one.”

Visit the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, Los Angeles for all of your Pediatric Care needs. Schedule an appointment today.