Alan Faneca, who also has epilepsy, writes an uplifting message to Ohio State QB Justin Fields
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
According to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields confirmed to NFL teams during the pre-draft process that he is managing epilepsy -- a neurological disorder that can cause seizures.
Rapoport followed up by saying the illness has not affected Fields on the field, and other family members have outgrown it in their 20s. The prognosis from doctors is that Fields should be in the same situation. Fields’ symptoms have shorter and less frequent over the past few years.
Fields wouldn’t be the first NFL player to suffer from epilepsy, as former Steelers guard and Hall of Famer Alan Faneca took medication to control seizures throughout his career. Faneca wrote an uplifting message to Fields on Twitter today about playing in the NFL and dealing with epilepsy.
Faneca wrote, "If I did it, so can @justnfields, and so can anyone else. It is part of us, but does not define us! #epilepsy#neverstopdreaming.
Faneca was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 15 after having numerous seizures. He started taking medication to control it and was able to continue playing football. Faneca only missed one game due to injury in his 13-year Hall of Fame career, 10 of those seasons were with the Steelers.
Tom Reed of DKPittsburghSports recently wrote a great article on Faneca, who talked about dealing with epilepsy and his daughter, Anabelle, who suffers from a rare neurological disorder called Sturge-Weber syndrome, a condition affecting the eyes, brain and skin. Faneca is an advocate for creating awareness for epilepsy and is always willing to help out families who are dealing with the illness or any other kind of neurological disorder.