Hurdles, obstacles, and stumbles happen. Will it ever stop me from continuing the fight or discourage me with what I can or cannot do?  Absolutely not!

Connecting with Jared while sailing offshore

We wanted to share with you the journey of one of our virtual shipmates, Jared Evans. We have had several connections with Jared, including a video call while crossing the Atlantic in 2022. Despite setbacks, Jared always has a positive attitude. We will let his words speak for themselves. If you want to share your journey, please connect with us through [email protected]

There I was, doing the same thing that I do every day on my lunch break.  Walk the local mall and talk on the phone with a family member. As always it is never a good time to have a seizure, however this time it was different.  It was in the public eye of visitors shopping and buying from their favorite stores.  As one of the employees at the mall saw my medical i.d. bracelet and called my wife, the other wanted to help and did what they thought would be of benefit.  It did not bode well as an item was stuck in my mouth to prevent the infamous “swallow the tongue” stigma that has been around for years.  They had also held me down to prevent my body from convulsing.  By the time my wife had arrived at the mall, I was still in post-ictal. She used the opportunity to teach seizure first aid: keep the person safe, turn them on their side, and be there for them when it is over.

Jared’s epilepsy was one of the factors that led to the family receiving a Habitat for Humanity house

24. That is the number of years that I have battled epilepsy. A TBI while playing basketball my senior year started my journey as a few months later I had experienced my first of many tonic-clonic seizures. A ton of seizures later and a dozen or so ineffective medicines, I was qualified for the VNS implant. To our family, it has been a game-changer in the day to day living. Who knew a small implant, a couple of wires, and a minimal scar could help control my seizures? Where a lot of the medicines I took came with side effects, the VNS came with a scratchy throat when it turned on. I’m still on a dose of medicine, but the combination has been instrumental in seizure care.

To say that sometimes, it gets weary when I have a seizure would be an understatement. It gets tiresome with the setbacks and the inability to drive because of my seizures. However, the one thing that I have been able to hold on is that in the midst of all the struggles, God is good and does good. Hurdles, obstacles, and stumbles happen. Will it ever stop me from continuing the fight or discourage me with what I can or cannot do? Absolutely not! I know that it’s difficult, but I get to share how I’ve been able to keep positive and encourage those along the way.

24 years ago I decided that the epilepsy journey is never just about me. My wife and daughters have been there every step of the way. Knowing I also have another 65 million people worldwide that fight the same battle is reassuring. I mean, talk about a support group. I’ve been able to get to meet amazing people that are some of my biggest cheerleaders that encourage me to never give up, keep pressing on, and never let my epilepsy define who I am as a person. Through the Sail for Epilepsy journey, Phil and his team have been influential in our family’s life as they have encouraged us through hard times of the fight. 

So, be encouraged and know you are never alone and always, always Seize Hope!

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