Living with Epilepsy: The Story of Mel Riebe, Jr.

posted in: TDEF Blog | 3

Mel Riebe, Jr. is an author, a recipient of the 2019 MACS Award for educating the public about epilepsy, a Purple Day Ambassador for Baltimore Maryland, and a passionate epilepsy advocate. In his free time, Mel loves to bowl and participated in the Special Olympics, winning a gold medal in hockey and a silver in bowling. Mel’s book Living with Epilepsy is available on Amazon.

My name is Mel Riebe Jr. and at the age of eight, I developed a brain aneurysm. The doctors had to place a metal clip in my brain. I have some paralysis on my side which as a child could clearly be seen with the way I walked to how I hold my hand down.

Mel with his book Living with Epilepsy

At the age of eight I was diagnosed with epilepsy. My diagnosis changed my life forever. I attended six different schools, trying to find the right environment to be in to learn.Despite my challenges, I was able to graduate from school and go on to attend college.

I was involved in sports as a child to deal with my epilepsy. I participated in the Special Olympics, placing first in hockey and second in bowling. Along with taking part in the Special Olympics, I was a baseball coach for one year and learned a lot from the experience. I started my bowling career at the age of eighteen. Along with bowling, I began to write and decided to write my book Living with Epilepsy. My family was supportive and had a bowling a thon to help me raise the funds needed to publish my book.

Along with writing my book, I am an advocate for the epilepsy community, helping to educate society about what epilepsy is. I became the purple day ambassador for Baltimore Maryland. My wife has been my support system through it all. I had a Vagus Nerve Stimulator placed to help stop my seizures and was on the local news station to share my story. In 2019 I received the MACS Award for educating people in Maryland about epilepsy.

My goal is to continue advocating and working with the community. I am currently writing my second book called Freddie’s Story and have created a new podcast called Epilepsy Warriors.

It is stories like Mel’s that show us people with epilepsy can live a happy life and be full of potential. All of us here at The Defeating Epilepsy Foundation are proud of Mel’s work and welcome him here as a volunteer to help with our blog. Thank you, Mel, for your dedication and we are proud of what you have done to make our community a stronger one and helping us to defeat epilepsy.

3 Responses

  1. Lesley Donnelly

    Welcome, Mel Riebe Jr!

    I’m an epilepsy advocate and do my utmost to educate and support all people and their families with epilepsy… I love doing volunteering editing and have done this for over 10 years now.

    Feel free to make contact so we can communicate further!

  2. Bob Bazyk

    Is Mel Riebe Jr related to Boston Celtic star of the 1940’s with the same name?

    • defepiadmin

      I don’t know to be honest Bob. Mel is a very caring advocate and wants to make a difference for those battling epilepsy.

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