John | Colorado
For John, epilepsy has been part of his life since age 5, when he was diagnosed with complex partial seizures. After years of drug treatments, he underwent surgery at age 13 but only experienced limited success with reducing his seizures. At the age of 22, John learned of VNS Therapy from his neurologist and he and his family grew hopeful that VNS Therapy would reduce his seizures. He underwent the implant procedure in August 2010.
Since then, John has had a great experience with the treatment option, reducing his seizures some 90 percent. Although he was able to accomplish much before being implanted, he now has renewed hope and energy. John is able to realize his dream of hiking the mountains of his home state, Colorado, feeling more self-assured and secure, knowing the likelihood of having a seizure while climbing is reduced.
John has teamed up with world-class climber, Eric Alexander of Higher Summits, and together with his father, the group has raised epilepsy awareness by climbing six 14,000 foot peaks. And, in June 2011, John once again climbed the mountains he loves with Eric and Outdoor Mindset, an organization to inspire people affected by neurological challenges through a common passion for the outdoors. John has a goal to climb most all the “fourteeners” in Colorado, and also dreams of starting his own hiking club for people with epilepsy, Colorado Climbers for Epilepsy.
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Erin | Hanover, Indiana