When 9/11 happened, April Krowel waited in line to give blood for over 10 hours. Once she finally got to the front of the line, she was slightly anemic and couldn’t give blood. “My personality is that I just have to do something, so I joined the army and gave blood in a different way,” she stated.
This is the epitome of Krowel’s personality. When there is a problem, she doesn’t wait for a solution to come along – she creates it. Hence how Briezy's Bunch, a nonprofit organization that strives to impact those affected by epilepsy, came about.
Krowel and her husband Justin have two daughters; their youngest, Aubrie, has a rare form of epilepsy and has had seizures since she was 8-months-old. While navigating the often confusing and frustrating world of healthcare and insurance, she connected with other families effected by epilepsy. She saw the struggles they faced and that they had nowhere to turn for help. “When they are denied access to critical things, it leads to devastating consequences -- sometimes even death,” she said.
She soon realized there was a gap to be filled for families dealing with epilepsy in Central Indiana. “I knew something needed to be done; the resources we needed weren’t available,” she shared. She couldn’t just let these families suffer.
This sparked her to establish Briezy's Bunch, which provides financial assistance for critical care needs when insurance denies coverage, hosts support groups for anyone affected by epilepsy and provides access to educational materials for individuals, families and the public. “To be able to give parents peace of mind and much needed sleep keeps me motived to do what I do.”
Krowel started this nonprofit while completing her predoctoral internship and being in and out of the hospital with her own child. “She recently graduated with her Ph.D. in counseling psychology and we couldn't be prouder,” Justin, her husband and 100 Heroes nominator, said.
“It’s certainly difficult to run a nonprofit, work a full-time job and raise two kiddos, especially one with epilepsy, but hearing feedback from people who we have helped makes it all worthwhile,” Krowel stated. “The army drove home the value of selfless service that I continue to this day; there are people who continue to struggle and there’s always going to be someone to help.”