Battling Bruin: Shannon

Posted November 2013

UCLA alumnus Andy Meyers, a two-time All-Pac-10 offensive lineman, third-team All-American, academic All-Pac-10 and academic All-District, knows the importance of supporting your team, especially when it comes to his home team and wife, Shannon Meyers.

When Shannon was 10 years old, she experienced her first tonic clonic/grand mal seizure at her grandparents’ cabin in Mt. Herman, Calif. Now 39, Shannon has survived hundreds of absence, myoclonic and tonic clonic seizures which are a result of a genetic form of epilepsy. Her most severe seizures occurred during her pregnancy with her now 4 year old son, Chase. Her seizures were so bad during the 6th and 7th month of her pregnancy that her doctors asked Andy if they wanted to save her or their baby because they were uncertain if they could save both. Fortunately, the seizures stopped and the once Compton Middle School teacher went on to deliver two healthy babies and become the first person on record to adopt a child from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Shannon recently posted on the Epilepsy Foundation's Facebook page this message:

“These are the shoes I was wearing when I had my first of nearly 30 grand mal seizures during the course of my two pregnancies. I was in a Petco parking lot and luckily came away with only a handful of staples in my skull, a few stitches on my face and still managed to deliver a healthy baby girl who is 7 years old today. I was and am so lucky. So many others are not. Please help to stop seizures and win the fight against Epilepsy. #sharemyshoes #walktoendepilepsy #teamwyattandauntieshan #cowboybootsaremyfriend”

Most people do not know that epilepsy affects nearly 3 million people in the United States and 65 million worldwide. This year, another 200,000 people in our country will be diagnosed with epilepsy and more people will die from seizure-related causes than from breast cancer. Shannon is not defined by her epilepsy but wants people to know that this disease affects people of all circumstances: young and old, men and women, boys and girls, all races, cultures and religions, athletes, celebrities, moms and dads and children. She believes there is hope for a cure and is so thankful for the support of Andy and her family.

As a result of her personal battle with epilepsy, Shannon has become actively involved with the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles as a Board member and advocate. She was heavily involved in launching last year's "Love Your Brain Now" Bus Tour educating local schools and community groups about seizure first aid. Shannon is also the co-chair of this year's Walk to End Epilepsy on Nov. 17 at the Rose Bowl. Shannon will be walking on a team with her 8-year-old nephew, Wyatt (who also has epilepsy), and alongside our very own Brett Hundley and his sister, Paris, who also lives with epilepsy.

You can support Team Wyatt, Auntie Shan, TEAM HUNDLEY and the 160,000 other families in the greater Los Angeles area affected by epilepsy by registering to walk or making a donation at walktoendepilepsy.org. You can also post a picture of your shoes to show your support on the End Epilepsy Facebook page.

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