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Julian Edelman inspires, helps local girl create epilepsy PSA

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Rosie Doherty and Julian EdelmanPhoto by Dan MacPherson

According to Julian Edelman's draft report, he shouldn't be where he is today – a Super Bowl champion and an all-star NFL player. Rosie Doherty, 19, knows this feeling well. Having been diagnosed with epilepsy, she and her family were told she wouldn't be able to talk, walk, read or run.

Both Julian and Rosie had two choices: prove them right or prove them wrong. Both proved them wrong.

Inspired by Julian's video in which he reads the negative comments from his draft report, Rosie wanted to make a video of her own, and her hope to make a PSA about epilepsy and her story was granted by Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island on Wednesday.

The two filmed the PSA at Gillette Stadium, tossed the football on the practice field and exchanged autographs. The goal of the video is to spread awareness, Rosie said, and to encourage people not to limit their dreams.

"A lot of people with epilepsy, they think it defines them, that that's who they are, but it's not really who they are. Epilepsy doesn't define you. You could do anything you want, but there are somethings that limit you, but most of it you can do," she said. "Just keep living life and keep thinking positive, and if you keep thinking positive your life will change."

For Julian, being able to encourage someone like Rosie to power through and not limit herself was touching.

"It's unbelievable that she would come over here and pick me to do this. It's very humbling, kind of like an honor, to inspire someone who is so inspirational," Julian said.

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"A person shouldn't be limited to go and try to fulfill their dream," he continued. "I'm a firsthand example of someone who had to go through that. Hopefully my story of just ignoring the noise and really just focusing on what you have to do just really shows that. It's pretty crazy to see that she actually believes in that and has used that."

While Rosie was told she couldn't do a number of things, she shut down the negativity with her actions. She is a two-time marathoner with dreams of continuing her public speaking career. In the past three years, she has spoken at 13 schools.

And how does it feel to prove them wrong?

"It feels great. It really does. There are all those naysayers saying you can't do this, you can't do that, but they don't know they're only making you stronger by doing that," Rosie said. "You have to keep fighting and keep going forward and keep accomplishing your dreams. You have to say don't limit your dreams. Don't limit what you can and can't do. Keep doing what you can do."

Rosie isn't putting caps on her dreams and goals any time soon, and Julian said he expects big things from her.

"You can tell she's just a resilient, tough girl that has a big, bright future," Julian said. "To see how much hunger and fire she has in her heart to do what she wants to accomplish is truly inspiring … I'll take this day and get to use it and remember this forever."

For pictures from Julian and Rosie's PSA shoot, check out the gallery below.

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Julian Edelman's message to never give up inspired Rosie Doherty to create a PSA about epilepsy through Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 

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