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Epilepsy Blog Relay™: Melanie Griffith on living with epilepsy

Abby Gustus-Alford, a regular contributor on Living Well With Epilepsy, has submitted this post on the recent news of Melanie Griffith’s announcement that she is living with epilepsy. This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™, which will run from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, 2017.  Follow along!

Abby’s Story

I am not going to lie.  I was absolutely shocked when my Twitter feed blew up with Tweets about Actress Melanie Griffith, while on a panel for Women’s Brain Health Initiative, revealed she too was battling epilepsy.

I wanted to run up to her and give her a hug.

Then, I got online to read about it.  Turns out, she recalled two seizures in her public appearance that happened in 2011.  2011!  Wow!

I wanted to run up and give her another hug!  Don’t worry… I won’t, but what I will say here is, thank you.  Thank you Melanie Griffith for being brave enough to talk about your epilepsy battle publicly.  I also want to say to her, stress brings on seizures for me, too!  And, it’s really annoying!  I wish it didn’t, but it does… I can almost tell when my stress level is going to cause a seizure.

Talk about it

But, more importantly, what does Melanie Griffith talking about her battle with epilepsy hopefully do?  My hope is that it gives people the courage that they, too, can “Talk About It”… just like our friend Actor Greg Grunberg always says.

In 2016, Greg, who has a son with epilepsy, started TalkAboutIt.org in partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation.  The whole premise of that campaign is to raise awareness and help destigmatize epilepsy.  Greg said, and this really stuck with me personally, “Acceptance and understanding replaces ignorance and fear.  Everyone needs to talk about it.”

Thank you, Melanie

It’s true.  And, in my opinion, Melanie Griffith recently revealing she has epilepsy and has been battling it for a long time is going to help a lot of people.  My hope is that this gives more people the courage to come out and “Talk About It” and the stigma that I always feel when talking about my situation starts to disappear.  Oh, and my dream… while we are talking about hopes and dreams… is that the publicity might raise awareness and raise money for research that might lead to a cure!  Just sayin’!

So, thank you Melanie! And, thank you Greg!  For telling your stories.

By the way, Melanie, if you ever read this… Greg recently declared you his #MyEpilepsyHero on Twitter!

NEXT UP: Be sure to check out the next post tomorrow by Dr. Angus A. Wilfong, MD, at livingwellwithepilepsy.com. For the full schedule of bloggers visit livingwellwithepilepsy.com.

TWITTER CHAT: And don’t miss your chance to connect with bloggers on the #LivingWellChat on November 30 at 7PM ET.

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Contributing Writer

Abby Gustus Alford was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 12 after multiple grand mal seizures over six-mos. She has a BA from Purdue and her Master’s from Northwestern.

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