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Seize Your Adventure

Seize Your Adventure

Author: Francesca Turauskis

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Adventure and outdoor living with epilepsy. The stories and interviews in this podcast cover a spectrum of activities, from long-distance hiking with epilepsy medication in a backpack, to the pleasure of the first duck dive after brain surgery. It advocates adventure in all forms, for everyone, as a way to connect with ourselves, others and the outdoors. This is how we live – with epilepsy.
11 Episodes
Adventurers Talk Epilepsy

Adventurers Talk Epilepsy


We’ve heard from people with epilepsy how they seize adventure. Now it’s time to put some adventurers on the spot. I talk to three people who work within the adventure field to find out what they know about epilepsy, what they don’t, and how we can get more people with epilepsy in adventure.We mention:These three adventure professionals’ first aid and epilepsy experienceHow they handle risk assessmentsThe different types of seizureBasic epilepsy first aidHow to encourage people with epilepsy to take part in adventureWhat adventure means to themWhere to go to learn more about epilepsyTHE ADVENTURERS: Jago Hartland (Outdoor Pursuits Guide, and fellow SayYesMore Ambassador)Find out more about Jago: Willis (Bushcraft Instructor) Find out more about David: Bass (Resilience Consultant)Find out more about Nicki: ABOUT EPILEPSY: TO YOUNG EPILEPSY: JOIN THE YESTRIBE: SUPPORT THE PODCAST: 
Jake Quigley is the executive director of the non profit Outdoor Mindset. The organisation’s mission is to unite and inspire people affected by neurological challenges through a common passion of the outdoors. It is a free membership-based community. When he is not working, Jake can be found adventuring outdoors with his wife, Jeanie, by foot, bike, or ski.If you haven’t listen to Jake’s story, be sure to head back to Part One so that you make the most of our conversation!We talked about:- His epilepsy diagnosis at 11 years old- How adventure can increase confidence, positivity and the ability to deal with challenge- The path to brain surgery- How to dispel the fear and stigma around epilepsy- What is telemark skiing? - How altitude might affect epilepsy- What he could teach me in mountain biking!- Getting support from Diane Van Deren- What you CAN control when you are diagnosed- How exercise can help your brain- The influence of the outdoors on depression and anxiety- The changes in attitude towards epilepsy- His next big adventureTerminology:Grand mal: a generalised seizure where a person loses consciousness and convulses. Also known as a tonic-clonic (more modern term).Aura: a change in brain activity that causes some strange sensations. Often a warning of a seizure. Read Jake’s story: about Outdoor Mindset: Outdoor Mindset:Facebook: Lake by Kev Rowe | License: Creative CommonsSupport SYA! Buy mugs, journals and postcards: Seize Your Adventure:Facebook: tag us when you listen, share, subscribe! 
For Jake Quigley, adventure is more than just a past time, or even a passion. Adventure is a lifestyle, and one he built up around his epilepsy. Jake was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was eleven years old. Rather than being scared by the condition, those around him encouraged and supported Jake to try adventurous things. But having carved out his adventure lifestyle, Jake’s seizures began to evolve when he was an adult, and they started to impact on his quality of life. Eventually, medication wasn’t working, and Jake was left with one last option.Brain surgery.Terminology:Medically refractory epilepsy: Epilepsy that is never fully controlled by medication.Generalised seizure: a seizure that affects the entire brainFocal point: A place in the brain the seizure startsGrand mal: a generalised seizure where a person loses consciousness and convulses. Also known as a tonic-clonic (more modern term).Read the story: about Outdoor Mindset: Outdoor Mindset:Facebook: Guitar - LOOP by joshuaempyre | License: AttributionExtract of "wrapped in dreams" by Frankum & Frankumjay | License: Creative Commons. Lonely Lake by Kev Rowe | License: Creative Commonsgit2016_4.WAV by Hoerspielwerkstatt_HEF | License: AttributionBR_094_Himalaya_Buddhistmonks.mp3 by kevp888 | License: AttributionGroovy Guitar 2 - LOOP.wav by joshuaempyre | License: AttributionExplosion and Ski sound effects from Zapsplat | License: Creative CommonsBuy mugs, journals and postcards: Seize Your Adventure:Facebook:
Adventurer. Soldier. Author. Jordan Wylie is known for his challenges at the extreme end of the adventure spectrum. Described by Sir Ranulph Fiennes as “A determined, fearless adventurer and an inspiring man”, Jordan has run races in Iraq, Afghansistan and Somalia, he has written a book about his time tackling pirates off the coast of Africa, and he has hiked Kilimajaro... barefoot. But Jordan is also known for his passion for helping others in his role as an ambassador, trustee and campaigner for various international charities, including Frontline Children and Epilepsy Action. He was diagnosed with epilepsy himself after he contracted dengue fever whilst in Djibouti. But rather than letting it slow him down, Jordan took on the role of an epilepsy ambassador, and continues to push the boundaries of extreme adventure.We talked about:- His most difficult challenge so far- How he was diagnosed with epilepsy- What an Extreme Adventurer does when they’re not adventuring- Who makes him starstruck- His must-visit travel destinations- How to limit epilepsy risk- Swimming with crocodiles!- And more...Donate to Rowing Dangerously: the Rowing Dangerously Challenge on Twitter: out more about Jordan: Jordan:Twitter:’s Recommendations:Declassified PodcastCitadel by Jordan WylieBuy mugs, journals and postcards to support the podcast: Seize Your Adventure:Facebook: for Rowing Dangerously provided by Jordan Wylie.
Advocate for adventure and epilepsy awareness. Writer. Editor. Podcaster. Public Speaker. In this interview (of sorts) you get to hear more from me, Fran Turauskis.To celebrate the one-year anniversary for you asked me about my adventures, epilepsy, and more. I talk about:Finding the way when you’re lostAdapting adventures to your abilityWhat having epilepsy has taught meThe highs and lows of starting Seize Your AdventureHiking the CaminoFamily hiking holidaysWhat I say to those that tell me not to do something My next challenge - 30 Adventures in 1 year!And yes, I do say ‘three pikes’ instead of ‘three peaks’... I don’t know why.Questions:Dave Cornthwaite of Say Yes MoreJade NelsonChristalle Bodiford of Life ElektrikTiffany WebbKathi KamlietnerJordan Wylie More about the 30 at 30 Challenge: Adventure advice: Related articles: Buy merchandise or support the podcast: Music:Buskers in Bilbao recorded on the Camino Follow Seize Your Adventure:Facebook:
Let me take you on a very intimate journey from my first seizure to walking the Norte and Primitivo Caminos. With music recorded whilst I was walking, this will give you an insight into my experience of The Way. On a post-referendum quest to discover more of Europe, I decided to take a five-hundred mile walk across Spain. In the summer of 2017, I set out to walk the Camino de Santiago. I expected sore feet, time to think and intimate talks with strangers (mainly about blisters). I didn’t expect my epilepsy to be such a focus of conversation and source of admiration. As you listen to my story, I hope that fellow pilgrims recognise themselves. It might push aspiring pilgrims to buy a guidebook. And if you want to know more about me and my epilepsy, this is your chance. And you get to hear me sing... More about me:   Related articles:   Buy merchandise or donate to the podcast:   Music: Fiesta recorded on the Camino Acoustic Venezuelan Cuatro by iluppai | License: Creative Commons 0 via Didgeridoo recorded on the Camino Buskers in Bilbao recorded on the Camino Tom Paget recorded and sung by me on a path in Surrey Fiesta in Santiago recorded on the Camino   Follow Seize Your Adventure: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:   Buen Camino!
It is important to acknowledge when we do impressive things. Not just because a sense of pride won’t do us any harm. But because it makes our stories more realistic to that person who is scared that it’s too hard for them. In a strange way, if we acknowledge that something is hard for us, it makes it more attainable to everyone else.Joe Stevenson reached a personal peak when he reached the top of Ben Nevis. In episode 3, he told us how this adventure came about. The conversation in this episode lets you hear a little bit more about:Joe’s everyday life as a hiker with epilepsy How Joe was diagnosed with epilepsyHis 7 year period of depression and how he overcame itThe side effects of the medication His difficulty finding work due to epilepsyAnd we find out where he’s aiming his sights next, now he knows what he is capable of...I’d like to thank Joe for speaking to me so honestly. Some of the subjects he mentioned aren’t easy, but my hope it that us talking about it makes it better. If you’ve been affected by anything discussed,  Epilepsy Action is a charity that provides support and expert advice for people with epilepsy. You can speak to them about all elements of living with epilepsy or if you are interested in taking on your own challenge for Epilepsy Action.If you have depression, or would like to talk to someone about your mental health and how you feel, you can contact Mind for information and support.Find out more about Joe: articles: Donate to support the podcast: Music:From Folk Guitar Music Track by Dvideoguy under the Creative Commons License.
This podcast takes you to one of the most remote parts of the UK, an area renowned as the last wilderness of Britain. Even the most touristic areas take some effort to get to. Welcome to the Scottish highlands. Joe Stevenson tells us about a charity hike he did a couple of years ago. Charity events are a great way of becoming a little bit more adventurous. The challenges are organised for you, the group leaders have plenty of experience with people of all finesses and of course, you can raise some money for a good cause at the same time. The hike that Joe decided to do was the Ben Nevis Challenge for Epilepsy Action. Joe hadn’t climbed a mountain before his trip to Scotland, but he decided to take on the highest peak in the UK. Epilepsy Action is a charity that provides support and expert advice, raises awareness and advocates for people with epilepsy. You can speak to them about all elements of living with epilepsy or if you are interested in taking on a challenge for Epilepsy Action. If you have depression, or would like some help with your mental health, you can contact Mind for information and support.   Find out more about Joe: Related articles:   Donate to support the podcast:   Music: GuitarDandCWithLONGERFade.wav by Kevin Boucher Folk Guitar Music Track by Dvideoguy Tick Tick Tick by k2tr   Head to for the full story. Find us on: Twitter Instagram Facebook
In this Q&A, we’ll learn a bit more about Jade Nelson, who wrote and read the Episode 1 story, “Peace in West Texas”. Jade is a licensed Massage Therapist, Epilepsy Advocate, Public Speaker and Writer based in Austin, Texas. Her focus is helping spread awareness of epilepsy and the ketogenic diet (a high fat, low carb diet that was invented in the 1920s to help control seizures) via her talks and writing. Her website,, is packed with recipes and information on the ketogenic diet and learning to live the ketogenic lifestyle. Jade and I have been talking via Instagram and email for over a year now, but this was the first time we had actually spoken to each other, so it was great to have a talk. There’s about a 6 hour time difference between us, and Jade kindly got up before sunrise to speak to me. It was a pretty intense conversation for that time in the morning, but it was so good to learn more about Jade! We talked about some of the activities Jade’s been involved in over the years, including karate, stand up paddleboarding, and ultimate frisbee. We talked about some of her bigger adventures, and the small routines she does to keep her active. And we talked about Jade’s epilepsy, the various medications and treatments for epilepsy over the years, including the ketogenic diet.  I’d also like to pre-emptively correct my ignorance. At one point during the conversation, I say that stand up paddleboarding is a new sport. I have since researched, and it’s not new at all. It’s been practiced in Hawaii since about the 16th Century.DISCLAIMER:  The discussion in this episode relates to Jade’s personal experience, and it is important to discuss with your doctors and professional team whether the ketogenic diet will be suitable for you.  If you take AEDs or medication, do not stop them except on doctors advice.  The ketogenic diet should only be attempted with the knowledge and advice of your neurology team and a nutritionist.If you would like to learn more about epilepsy, or have been affected by this episode, you can phone the epilepsy society (UK) on 01494 601 400Articles: to buy: Music:acoustic guitar interlude by graham_makes 
Camping is one of the simplest ways to spend some time outdoors, so when Jade was determined to get back out into nature, a short camping trip seemed like the obvious choice. When she and her husband Eric set out with their dogs, she had specific expectations. Fond memories of camping trips in the Pacific Northwest and New England meant she hoped to find comfort in the beauty of her surroundings. But camping in West Texas was a new experience. And when a small mistake threatened to upset the whole trip, Jade discovered that the Lone Star State had an emotional lesson to teach her... Find out more about Jade:   Stuff to buy:  Work with Seize Your Adventure:   Music: Poignant Texas by Mark T Dandelion.mp3 by TexasMusicForge acoustic guitar interlude by graham_makes   Head to for the full story. Find us on: Twitter Instagram Facebook
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