Triathlete Challenges Her Epilepsy

Picture credit: Cyprus Triathlon Federation (


Excerpt of Article by Glenna Fraumeni | Huffington Post Canada

I’m an endurance athlete with epilepsy. We exist! I’ve been an active soul my entire life. When I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2007, I did my absolute best to keep participating in the endurance sports I love. I have complex partial seizures and take medications to control my seizures. My days require so much effort on many levels.

People are curious when they find out I’m training and competing. They ask, “Aren’t you afraid of having a seizure while you’re out there?” I’m aware, but not afraid, of the possibility that I could have a seizure when I’m pushing my body like this. In no part of our life can we completely eliminate risk. The best we can do is figure out how to minimize it.

In October 2014, I was competing in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Around 30km into the 42km event, I had an aura and I knew I was going to have a seizure. Thanks to excellent planning and my amazing family, I was able to safely have a seizure. I did not finish that race but I have learned from it. In those moments, I give my family, friends and doctors the right to make that decision whether or not I continue a race if they feel it is unsafe for me to compete. Sometimes we get so ambitious with our athletic goals and we ask so much of our bodies that we forget to slow down and give our bodies the kindness they deserve.

It comes down to, “Do I enjoy doing this enough to take the risk of hurting myself, and what can I do to reduce the risk?” For me, the benefits outweigh the risk.


Click here to read another Beyond Adversity post.

Thanks to Glenna Fraumeni — an endurance athlete with epilepsy who is living in Toronto — for writing the article; Huffington Post Canada for publishing the article; Google for helping me find the post; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text I used in this post.


    1. Glenna, the article is fantastic, but what is most impressive is not the article itself, it is the fact you overcome adversity to achieve success. Your message (written and unwritten) is very inspirational. Thank you for sharing it. I know your message will inspire many others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *