Living with epilepsy can be daunting and even dangerous, but for many of the 50 million people around the world living with the condition, it is something that they’ve been able to triumph over in their everyday lives.

One of the major challenges is living with epilepsy as an adult. Being an independent individual and coping with seizures at the same time has its challenges. Add an active lifestyle to the mix, and the difficulties only mount. Despite their obstacles and suffering, many athletes have found success and continue to redefine what living with epilepsy looks like.

Here are five well-known athletes who have found triumph through the challenges of epilepsy:

1. Olympic Medalist Marion Clignet

Marion Clignet - Special Needs Essentials Credit: marionclignet.com

French-American cyclist Marion Clignet has said that her struggles with epilepsy actually equipped her to win two Olympic silver medals. And there’s no doubt that she’s right: she actually lost her driver’s licence because of her seizures, which influenced her to take up cycling in the first place. Clignet would go on to pick up a couple of Olympic medals, win six world titles and nearly 200 other races.

2. Major League Baseball Player Greg Walker

Greg Walker - Special Needs Essentials

Among the many MLB players to overcome epilepsy and shine with high-profile careers is Greg Walker, former first baseman and power hitter for the Chicago White Sox. He also coached the MLB team before finishing his career with the Atlanta Braves last year. After collapsing on the field once and again later on that night in the hospital, Walker found relief for two years with anticonvulsant medication.

3. Champion Boxer Terry Marsh

His fight against epilepsy prepared Terry Marsh to be a pro fighter and an undefeated world champ in the light welterweight division. He won the ABA senior amateur championship three times and went on to be the professional and welterweight world champion. Marsh retired as the first European boxer to retire as an undefeated world champion.

4. Basketball Player Mighty Mike Simmel

Mighty Mike - Special Needs Essentials

Hailing from the Harlem Wizards, a show basketball team, “Mighty Mike” has suffered from epilepsy seizures ever since he was a toddler. Though he’s found triumph, he doesn’t sugarcoat the fact that he’s had many difficult experiences throughout his life.

As a speaker for the Epilepsy Foundation, Mighty Mike continues to inspire others with stories of how his life changed when his father handed him a basketball. Playing sports helped him develop coordination skills and overcome the obstacles found in living with epilepsy.

5. NFL Football Player Jason Snelling

Not only is Jason Snelling a former Atlanta Falcons running back, he’s also a well-known supporter of the Epilepsy Foundation. After Snelling was diagnosed with the condition in college, he persevered with treatment and went on to have a successful career as a pro athlete. To this day, he works regularly with the Epilepsy Foundation to raise awareness, speaking out about his own experiences to inspire others living with the condition.

Famous Footnote:

You’d never know it, but there are lots of famous folks living with epilepsy, conquering adversity in the public eye! We’re inspired to learn that these celebrities are also coping with epilepsy every day: Lil Wayne, Prince, Neil Young, Susan Boyle, and Danny Glover.

Who inspires you? Drop by our Facebook page and share your story!

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