Late Summer 2014

The summer seems to have flown by with various sporting events to entertain us including the World Cup, Wimbledon and the Commonwealth Games. Our lack of success in the World Cup and Wimbledon in June was made up for by a good show of medals going to England at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow during the end of July and beginning of August. Hopefully, it may have inspired you to get down to the gym or have a walk out in the countryside.

AGM May 2014

Our AGM took place on Thursday 22nd May to coincide with National Epilepsy Week. Prof Besag who is our President was in attendance which was much appreciated by the committee.

Marco Valencia who has helped me run the society over the last 12 months, was playing in his band called “Libre Fuego” and entertained us during the evening.  We also had a number of display boards with photos recording the history of the society to celebrate our 40th anniversary this year.  

Marco was formally voted on the committee at the AGM.  Financial accounts were presented and agreed for the year ended 31/03/14 and a Secretary's report circulated to all those attending. Copies of which are included as a supplement with this newsletter for those unable to attend the AGM.

Prof Besag mentioned the importance of having a web site for the charity in this digital age. As a result my partner has volunteered to help set one up for the society as he has IT experience and the web site is currently being worked on now.
We have decided to continue without a Chairman for now and the society will be run by the committee. Special recognition was given to Rosemary Aselford, our Honorary Vice-President, who has provided generous support to the charity over its 40 years and greatly contributed to its success. Special thanks was also given to Stephen Marshall for his ongoing hard work in providing income for the charity from his regular collections.

Fund raising at the Croydon Marathon

Since the Spring Newsletter, Marco has confirmed he will be entering the Lexus Croydon 10k Marathon on Sunday 19th October 2014 which takes place at Lloyd Park Avenue, Croydon to raise money for the society.  Start time is 10:15 am if you want to join me in cheering him on. The race is organised by Nice Work on behalf of Croydon Harriers and in conjunction with Croydon Council. If any members would like to sponsor him please contact us at the society. He is currently spending his spare time getting in shape at the local gym.

Dawn Gibbons, Honorary Secretary

Famous People with Epilepsy

When my eldest son was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 17 I remember feeling shattered, sad and angry. I thought that by him having epilepsy he would be denied living his dreams. He loved swimming and outdoor pursuits and although he felt the same anxiety as me he now actively pursues his activities and leads the normal life of a young man.

History tells us that many people who have been diagnosed with epilepsy lead a normal life and many have been or are in the public eye. They do not deny they have the condition but at the same time it shouldn’t matter because they are judged on what they have done or are doing regardless.

Many people from sports, television, radio, politics, literature and music, to name but a few have epilepsy yet they have an impact on our lives. They have broken the stigma that many have about epilepsy and have realised their objectives, goals…..DREAMS.

A few examples from the acting/drama world are Bud Abbot, from the famous Abbot and Costello Hollywood duo, Danny Glover, Rik Mayall, Martin Kemp (also bassist from Spandau Ballet).

In music we have Jimmy Reed, Prince, Neil Young, Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac), Chris Knox, Ian Curtis and Susan Boyle had epilepsy as a child.

The sports world has provided many heroes some of whom had epilepsy when achieving their greatest sporting moments. Tony Greig (cricket), Buddy Bell (baseball), Bobby Jones (basketball), Florence Griffith Joyner (athletics), Wally Lewis (rugby), Maggie McEleny (paralympic gold medal swimming champion), Dai Greene (athletics) and the list continues.

In the arts and literature; the great Charles Dickens had epilepsy yet managed to write the greatest pieces of literature ever, translated in over 100 languages but others include Edward Lear, R.D Blackmore, Stephen Knight, Thom Jones, Laurie Lee, Dmitri Sinodi-Popov and Bjornstejerne Bjornson who won the Noble Prize for Literature in 1903.

Budd Abbot (left) and Costello

Martin Kemp

Charles Dickens

Some of the names mentioned may not be familiar to some of you. They are from different eras, backgrounds, pursuits yet they all have one thing in common and that is that they all achieved their ambition and dreams even though they had epilepsy.

Maybe my son is not famous but I am proud that he has overcome his condition and carries on his life as normal. A few years ago I was wrapping him up in cotton wool now I am encouraging him to take part in his preferred activities. His next pursuit? Sandboarding!!!!!!

Article written by Marco Valencia

Day Centre Update

We are hoping to continue running the centre on a Wednesday on a regular basis from 11 am to 3pm which will continue to provide a regular drop in service.
When unmanned please email or phone us and leave a message and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

Further information can be provided by the following national support groups when our centre is closed:

Epilepsy Action                   Helpline 0808 800 5050

Epilepsy Society        Helpline 01494 601400