Triathlete Triumphs Over Epilepsy

(No Ratings Yet)

Like its name suggests, the Ironman Triathlon is a race for only the most extraordinary, iron-willed athletes. The grueling individual endurance event begins with a 2.4-mile swim, is followed by a 112-mile bike race and culminates in a 26.2-mile run.

Between April and October of 2005, Mark Ashby completed the Ironman Arizona and the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, in addition to five half-Ironman triathlons. In two of the half-Ironman competitions, Mark placed second and third in his age division. However, Mark, 42, also had an additional hurdle many of his fellow top athletes did not have to overcome-one that had abruptly ended his career earlier in life.

Twenty-four years ago, Mark was an active-duty U.S. Marine when he suffered from several seizures that resulted in a diagnosis of epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological condition that makes people susceptible to seizures, which are temporary disturbances in the electrical activity of the brain. While there is no cure, more than 2.7 million people in the United States live with epilepsy and for many of them, taking anti-epileptic medication is an effective way to control their seizures.

Mark first began treatment with a drug that prevented his seizures, but also caused significant side effects. Mark says he felt “at the bottom of the bottom.” He lost his ability to physically train and his Marine Corps career ended with a medical discharge. “My life was a tough road those days,” he says.

Three years ago, a doctor who understood Mark’s desire for an active lifestyle prescribed Carbatrol

Comments are closed.