North Carolina Man Confronts the Stigmas of Living with Epilepsy and Being Gay on New Web Series

Rick Stevens' candid conversation about his struggles marks a shift in the groundbreaking new web series "Courage with Brenda Snow."

Jul 31, 2013, 09:18 ET from Snow/Wood Productions

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Disclosing that you have a chronic illness can be tough, and epilepsy is one of the most stigmatized and misunderstood diseases. Now add telling others that you are gay, and you will understand the courage Rick Stevens needed to admit that he is "different" in both ways. He shares how epilepsy is not the disability people thought it was on the latest episode of "Courage with Brenda Snow".

"Courage" - launched this year by Snow/Wood Productions – is empowering the cancer community by showcasing stories of people battling, or caregiving for someone with, cancer. After a strong Internet response and pending distributor deal, the show widens its focus to showcase the courage of those living with diseases like hepatitis C, HIV, and multiple sclerosis – which host Brenda Snow was diagnosed with.

Demystifying epilepsy

Stevens' first encounter with epilepsy came at just 18 years old. "My mother found me lying on the floor. I wasn't breathing, I was gurgling," he explained. His dreams of college and independence had suddenly fallen to pieces; he couldn't even take a shower with the door closed, because his mother feared he would have a seizure.

For Stevens, finding the courage to deal with epilepsy and finding the courage to come out went hand-in-hand. On his first date after coming out, his biggest worry was epilepsy. When he finally found the courage to tell his date about his condition, that was the last time they spoke. "At that time, [epilepsy] was still this 'demon," he said. Though Stevens had a cruel awakening to the stigmas that awaited him, it was the beginning of a journey that ultimately led him to be a healthy, happy, and confident man. Demystifying epilepsy, Stevens and Snow explain what epilepsy is, what it isn't, and how to overcome the obstacles.

About Courage:

"Courage" is hosted by Brenda Snow, an entrepreneur living with multiple sclerosis for 20 years. She has spoken to hundreds of thousands of patients all over the world. "Courage" features in-depth interviews with patients and caregivers who have overcome health obstacles and have emerged as role models.

Watch "Courage":

Contact: Tyler James | | 757-206-1336


SOURCE Snow/Wood Productions