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

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.

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.

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