Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Jeff Klauk: Golf, Epilepsy, Advocacy and Family

Jeff Klauk is a professional golfer, dad, husband, son and brother.

He also has epilepsy and is an advocate for epilepsy awareness and has taken The Pledge to Go Beyond Okay.  On this website, I watched a clip of his wife talking about being his caregiver and describing Jeff’s seizures.  She describes Jeff chuckling at the onset of his Partial Onset Seizures which immediately endeared this family to me as Robert will oftentimes chuckle when he is coming out of his seizures.   

In order to get the word out about this initiative, he and Dr.Selim Bendadis (who is the Professor and Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at University of South Florida and Tampa General Hospital) sat for hours doing interviews about The Pledge and life with epilepsy.  

Hours of interviews and I was fortunate enough to be one of the interviewers!  The format was very simple: I had ten minutes to ask one or both of them whatever questions I could come up with.  They would be filmed and my voice would be heard asking the questions.  This immediately set my mind at ease – no need to buy new Spanx!

The first order of business was to refresh my knowledge of golf.  Okay, there wasn't much knowledge to refresh – I had to basically start from scratch.

Clubs. Eighteen holes. Patience. PGA tour card. 

Got it.

I next concentrated on what to ask both of them (I couldn’t just ask one of them questions and have the other sitting there - Miss Manners would have my head!)  It took me several days to figure out what I wanted to know from Jeff and Dr. Bendadis but soon realized I wanted to tailor my questions to what I am passionate about: family and advocacy.  

It didn’t take long into the ten eleven minutes to realize how passionate Jeff is about his family and epilepsy advocacy too.  Jeff shared what he would like his kids to learn about epilepsy: be persistent and never give up.

Dr. Bendadis shared what he sees as the future of epilepsy treatment and research.

I should note that while Jeff is following one treatment plan that has successfully worked for him, he is the first to point out that no one treatment plan works for everyone.  Jeff reminds us that epilepsy has no cure but it’s important to never give up in our search for it.

It was an honor to talk with both of them and I thank both of them from the bottom of my heart for their time, passion and advocacy.

Thankfully, they didn't ask me any questions about golf . . .

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