Ben Dellacono

Youth Ambassador

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Ben, the eldest of three siblings, has taken an active role in many sports since he could walk. His parents fostered his love for sports while actively coaching and transporting him to many travel tournaments.  Ben has played and continues to play many sports, including varsity football, baseball, and basketball. While he enjoys all of them, baseball is his favorite.

Throughout the years, Ben has been a coach to his younger brother and sister, building their love for sports. His sister is closer in age and has also become quite the varsity athlete. In particular, she has been highly successful at tennis.

Ben, at the age of 12, became acutely aware of epilepsy when he witnessed his younger sister’s first temporal lobe seizure at the age of 10. It was shocking and upsetting for Ben to witness the seizures. He felt helpless and helpless had difficulty processing what he had seen. His sister was soon diagnosed with epilepsy. As someone who now had a family member living with temporal lobe epilepsy, he saw how epilepsy affected his sister’s life and dreams.

One concern was that her medications would impact her stellar academic and athletic performances or even change her personality. But she found ways to overcome. Once she was down in a competitive tennis match and had developed a headache and nausea due to a pre-seizure aura. Rather than call the match, she took a time out, gathered herself, and went on to win the match.  If she would not give up, then how could anyone?

Ben had many questions regarding epilepsy and became keenly aware of the life a person with epilepsy can lead. This was demonstrated by his first-hand account of his sister’s many doctors’ appointments, hospital visits, and medical tests.   

Fortunately, as the years went on, his sister persevered and was able to return to being a high honors student and become a highly-ranked, championship tennis player. At 14, she became seizure free and she was weaned off her medication. His sister has won many local and regional championships and continues to work at improving her national ranking. As a result, Ben, and the community his family lives in marvel at the success a person living with epilepsy can achieve with the support of family and advanced medical care. Ben has become an ambassador for Athletes vs Epilepsy to help raise awareness by campaigning and fundraising in hopes that someday, no family member will have to see someone go through the challenges of living with epilepsy and seizures.