Godard backs epilepsy event
Eric Godard never had a seizure in 335 games in the National Hockey League.
The retired enforcer has always been in a safe place when a seizure has struck. And while living with epilepsy is a challenge, the 6-foot-4, 227-pounder has learned how to fight the condition.
Godard, 33, has donated an autographed game stick for the silent auction and is lending his support to the Rock For Epilepsy dance Saturday night at the Best Western Vernon Lodge. There will be four groups featured – Rockwater, The Bone, The Kringles and The Dan Engelland Band.
“I had my first one when I was 17 and then I started having them more when I was 23, and that’s when they gave me the diagnosis, and I just started taking medication from there,” said Godard, who was 17 when he first played for the WHL Lethbridge Hurricanes.
“I went through a couple of different ones trying to find one that works for me because I guess that’s kind of the challenge.”
Epilepsy is a condition that is defined by multiple seizures. An estimated one per cent of the general population has epilepsy, meaning 330,000 in Canada and four million Americans have the disorder.
Actor Danny Glover, PGA golfer Jeff Klauk and musician Neil Young all have epilepsy. Famous people from the past who had the condition included Agatha Christie, Vincent van Gogh, Napoleon Bonaparte and Sir Isaac Newton.
Added Godard: “It’s all about managing it, not only the stress it puts on not only myself, but my family members because they actually have to see you go through it and they gotta make sure they’re doing the right things to make sure that I stay safe.”
Godard’s wife, Myrika, has a friend whose son has two seizures a day.
“That’s gotta put some major stress on the family and the kid as well, just trying to live a normal life.,” said Eric. “Hopefully, something can happen where they get the freedom to enjoy their life.”
Marnie Taylor of Vernon has organized the 8 p.m. fundraiser to create awareness for epilepsy. Tickets are $15 and available at the door. Purple wrist bands will be issued to promote the fundraiser’s honoured colour.
Taylor, 35, was diagnosed with epilepsy at 14 and struggled with the disease as a teenager.
“I’m on a new medication and I haven’t had a seizure since November and I only had three last year,” said the slim and trim Taylor.
“I have a lot of good friends helping me with this dance. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
She gets amazing support from her father Larry, head of maintenance at the Lodge, and her mother Evelyn, employed at Vernon Seed Orchard.
“Everyone’s putting the poster on Facebook,” said Taylor, who worked housekeeping, mainly at Silver Star Mountain Resort, but is currently on disability.
“I just want to spread the word. A lot of people aren’t aware of epilepsy as much as they are of say, breast cancer. I want people to know that epilepsy is more common than they think.”
A golf bag from Kal Tire and a 14 x 20 Trevor Linden framed photo are among the silent auction items.