For most of his 42 years Dan Dougherty has been living with epilepsy, while residing with his parents, Neil and Bernadette, in their home outside Philadelphia. As Dan puts it, he "seized the world" when he was born. He was in fetal distress the first four days of his life as he suffered frequent convulsions.
After that, he had a pretty normal childhood--until he was 10 years old. That's when, while out sledding with his dad, he had a seizure at the bottom of a hill. He didn't convulse; instead he began vomiting and felt dizzy. When he had several more episodes of disorientation and nausea, Dan's parents took him to see a pediatric neurologist. The doctor diagnosed him with epilepsy.
The disease has had a profound effect on Dan and his family, but he has worked hard to shape a more fulfilling life, one that pushes him beyond the physical limitations of his condition. Despite an occasional stutter, he has embraced public speaking and, through the group Toastmasters, has learned how to talk with conviction to a roomful of strangers. It has enabled him to work with the regional chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation and speak about his disease. And it has enabled him to find his voice.