This past year, Mike’s role changed at the Epilepsy Association. He is now the Prevention & Education Coordinator. This means he is visiting schools and events, raising awareness about Epilepsy and connecting with the community. “I love helping people. And if there is a stage, I’m on it.” As a former cruise director, Mike loves interaction and handles the spotlight well. He is everyone’s friend and adored by all ages. It hasn’t been an easy road.
After his epilepsy diagnosis, Mike developed diabetes. There were medication adjustments, all with side effects. Some days it was hard to get up and keep going. Then the magic formula worked – for about five years, there were no episodes. Mike re-established his physical training routines – bike riding, workouts, etc. Last spring, Mike and his constant companion Rufus were bike riding, when the episode happened. He crashed. The medical journey began again. This time, Mike didn’t lose his job. This time, Mike knew what was happening and the best next steps. This time, Mike had connections to doctors, medications and support. The experience reinforced his passion and commitment to the Epilepsy Association’s mission and values. Mike isn’t back to bike riding yet, but the future is bright with hope and goals.
On a personal level, Mike and Rufus walk a lot and are becoming more active every day. In his career, Mike thrives at the events put on by the Epilepsy Association. The annual walks and picnics, he experiences a real connection with those the association helps and their families. He is driven to do more. “Epilepsy will not rule my life”. Mike’s idea’s for future events for the association are many. On the horizon, look for Yoga and new fundraising activities.
How does he stay positive? “Meditation helps”, Mike says. Several times a day, Mike meditates. It helps with stressors and quiets the mind. Physical activity helps, as well. Releasing endorphins, there is no real replacement to a brisk walk and light workout. And, of course, helping others. As Mike looks to the future, he is readying materials to launch a series of podcasts and his bucket list remains long.
Thank you, Mike for all you have done, all you do. You are an inspiration and are treasured!
Source: Diana Webster, Epilepsy Association