Cory Sperier, 25, graduates Baton Rouge Community College this spring with his Associate degree, teaches swimming at the YMCA, works out and runs the Crawfishman Triathlon each spring in Bush, LA. No way is epilepsy going to prevent Cory from reaching his goals and participating in what he enjoys!
Cory has been seizure free for almost a year now but has had his ups and downs. The first seizure Cory had occurred when he was playing basketball at youth group. Cory was 16.
After three years of grand mal and petit mal seizures that could not be managed by medication, lots of research and physician consultations at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Cory and his parents opted for brain surgery to remove the lesions believed to cause his seizures. Following the surgery Cory was seizure free for almost two years until he had a grand mal seizure working as a summer camp counselor.
Not being able to drive is the most frustrating part of having epilepsy for a young person his age, according to Cory. Baton Rouge does not have many reliable services available to transport people with epilepsy who want to go to school or who have a job. “Having to rely on my parents and friends gets old after a while but I am lucky to have such a good support group,” Cory said.
Cory and his mother, Penni Sperier, attended the EFL Baton Rouge support group last fall in hopes of learning about transportation resources. Cory and/or his mother have continued to attend monthly support group meetings when their schedules permit.
Cory started working at the YMCA in 2009 as a lifeguard. For the past three years he’s been teaching swimming lessons to kids 6-months old to 69 years old. If you want to learn to swim, Cory’s your man! The best part of working at the YMCA is “meeting all the members and talking and dealing with the people,” according to Cory.
Summers find Cory in charge of the rifle range and serving as a cabin counselor at Camp Fern in Marshall, TX. Although his first summer at Camp Fern was cut short when his seizures recurred, they called him last summer because he was “so good with the kids” and asked if he would consider returning. Managing the riflery includes teaching marksman and making sure everyone behaves safely. “I teach the campers to shoot targets and help them with their aim,” said Cory.
Cory’s aim is to finish Baton Rouge Community College this spring and start working on a degree in Sports Management at LSU this fall.If Cory’s story inspires you, you can donate to EFL in his honor.