Many who know me know that I don't follow football, much less college football, nor do I know the players' names, much less the coaches.
But now, thanks to epilepsy, I do know who University of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill is.
Like my own 14-year-old daughter, Abby, Jerry Kill has epilepsy.
He has recently been the target of ignorance and criticism. There are those who say, because he has suffered at least three seizures during football games, that he should quit his job.
He fights back saying that his seizures, though traumatic for the moments they are jerking his body and blacking out his mind, he is capable of coaching his football team. I believe, as do many of his supporters, that he is more than capable of doing his job.
When Abby was diagnosed in February her neurologist Dr. Stephen Coker repeatedly told us to let her live her life. Let her be normal, let her continue on in competitive dance, although stressful. Dr. Stephen Coker said not to change her routine because of epilepsy. Let her live her life, let her live her life, let her live her life.
A girl at her high school, "Mary" had a lead role in a high school show recently. She also has epilepsy. Guess what happened? On opening night "Mary" collapsed into a full-blown seizure. Right there on stage in front of the audience to see.
I think about her mom out in the audience helplessly watching, what is likely, her worst fear coming true.
My fear for my own daughter, who is in the first semester as a freshman at high school and who will be in the school musical this weekend and then in several dance competitions over the next few months, is that this happens to her.
I fear her world suddenly goes dark. I fear her body deceives her. I fear she has an audience for this.
The treatment Jerry Kill is receiving from the negatives in the world is near bully level. Ignorance and cruelty comes in many forms.
I'm sure he has a family and friends who love him and are trying to protect him, as I am trying to protect my daughter.
Jerry Kill cannot step down as the football coach. My daughter cannot quit theater or dance.
Jerry Kill, "Mary" and Abby, and the thousands who live with the unpredictability of epilepsy, must continue to live their lives, just as Dr. Stephen Coker said.
Jerry Kill please stand strong for all the others out there who do not have a voice or the world stage as you now have. Stand up for them. Do not quit.
In church recently the pastor said we are all to look inside our pain and there we will find our God-given purpose. Pastor also said that God will use our pain for the good, as a tool to help a larger population. Pastor said that in those moments, scenarios, hardships or relationships where we say "nothing good can come from this" right there is exactly from where something good will come.
Jerry Kill I think you now know your purpose. Look hard and long into your pain and at your bullies and critics. Use their venom to find your strength, use your voice, stand tall for all those who cannot do it on their own.
Until next time, love each other.....
If you like what you read, please "like," share and follow me by entering your email into the subscribers box at the side.