Heather Shuker Creates NillyNoggin EEG Caps to Help Children with Epilepsy

 We first introduced you to Heather Shuker in our May 2018 issue. Heather is a Hampton resident and the mother of 16-yearold Hannah Pallas.  When Hannah was four-month olds, she began having seizures. The doctors diagnosed her with severe, intractable epilepsy. 

        Heather along with other mothers fought diligently to bring medical marijuana to Pennsylvania to help Hannah and others suffering from debilitating illnesses.  Heather was successful in this quest, and medical marijuana has helped Hannah.  She is over 95% seizure-free since 2017. Hannah still has around 20-40 seizures a month, but the improvement is significant. 

        Now Heather is turning her efforts towards helping children with epilepsy; she is trying to comfort them and blanket their anxiety.  She has created an epilepsy cap called the NillyNoggin.   

        Heather explains her motivation behind the caps.  “When Hannah went into respiratory failure in 2017, I decided I needed to change my life’s mission. I wanted to make a difference in the life of a child living with epilepsy. I took the ideas I had while sitting with Hannah in the hospital and many sleepless nights and created the company HannahtopiaI knew the first thing that I wanted to do was to design this EEG cap. I searched for someone to help me, but it was tricky since I didn’t know what I needed it to be.  I decided to take a sewing class, and that is how the NillyNoggin EEG Cap was born.” 

       In the early hours of the morning, Heather came up with the unique name for these caps. “It was 1:00 a.m., and I was trying to think of a fun name. I needed another word fo rhead, so I thought of noggin.  I thought what rhymes with noggin, and Nilly came to mind.  I wondered if Nilly is a word, so I looked it up.  According to the urban dictionarynillys have a heart of goldare honest, respectable and absolute sweethearts. Theyre always wearing a smilehave beautiful eyes and are angelic. They are dedicated friends and give the best hugs.  The definition was perfect and fits every child that lives with these awful seizures. Despite the over 100,000 seizures that my daughter Hannah has had, she still has a smile on her face and gives the best hugs,” Heather said. 

        Heather found a place that helps produce the NillyNoggins. “Several people told me I should check with the East End Cooperative Ministry to see if they could produce the capsI took that advice and went to EECM.  Their program is called Sew Forward, and they are now producing the caps for me. They have created 700 of them so far. These caps have been worn at Children’s Hospitals all over the United States,” added Heather.   

       We’re excited about our new sections on our website: ‘Gift a NillyNoggin EEG Cap’ and ‘Adopt an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.’ People have inquired about purchasing the caps as a gift for a child, so we created ‘Adopt an EMU.’ We added this because we feel these caps should be on supply at hospitals. Many times, a child will require an emergency EEG and will not have time to purchase a NillyNoggin beforehand. We want to make sure that every child that requires an EEG can wear a NillyNoggin. Contact us to see how you can help us with our mission. Let’s make a difference in the life of a child living with epilepsy,” Heather said.   

          For information on NillyNoggins and other Hannahtopia products, visit https://hannahtopia.com/shop/.