Hello my name is Spenser Jaye and I can’t wait to share my story and how epilepsy got me to where I am today. I was 13 when I experienced my very first Grand Mal seizure, and after that my life had changed forever. I have always been an active soccer player ever since I could first kick a soccer ball. Playing the game that I love for 18 years, but not without a few obstacles along the way. After my first seizure I thought soccer was going to be taken away from me forever, but I was not going to let that happen. I didn’t let epilepsy stand in my way of playing the sport that I love, and with the support and guidance from my family, friends, and any medical staff who I have met, helped me on my unstoppable journey.
As I began the road of what a day in the life of an epileptic has to go through, it consisted of meeting with multiple doctors, getting blood drawn multiple times a month, EEG test, MRIs, CAT scans, and the infamous guessing game of what medication will work and which will give me a seizure. It's the hardest feeling when you wake up in a daze, the feeling your body has been hit by a truck, and people staring at you saying you had a seizure. Although after every seizure that tore me down, I got back up and held my head high and kept on moving forward. The acceptance for having epilepsy was so hard, and to think I'm different from everyone else, but this lifestyle is 100% worth it.
It is no picnic in the park I will tell you that, the most frustrating thing is patience. Patience to see what will work, and what medication fits right to keep you seizure free. Once I slowly found the right medications, things started to fall into place. In 2014, I got a scholarship to play Division I soccer at the University of Hawai’i. It was one of the greatest things I've ever achieved, and then I graduated with a degree in Sports Management in 2018. Fortunately enough I played one extra season of collegiate soccer at San Francisco State University while pursuing a second degree in Marketing. Alongside my collegiate career in Hawai’i, I also played at the international level for the Guam Women’s National Team. My family is Chamorro, with many of my relatives hailing from the island of Guam. I loves representing my family and island nation.
Epilepsy has definitely taken a toll on my life for the past 11 years and put me through many setbacks that took a toll at times, but did not prohibit me from fulfilling my dreams as both an athlete and a student. I also joined an amazing foundation called Athletes vs. Epilepsy, which gives support to all athletes with epilepsy and encourage our society to create athletic events across the nation to support every athlete in achieving their dreams. I am very proud to be an ambassador for them and share my soccer journey.
I am excited to work along side Danielle and create a community where we can break the stigma and finally have an open place where we can talk to others who feel they are different or embarrassed to talk about this. No one is normal, epileptics are unique individuals who all have their own story that is worth telling to the world. It is time to support anyone who has epilepsy, knows someone with epilepsy, or has no clue what it even is. It is time to learn seizure first-aid, and help fundraise to find a cure and beat epilepsy! I can’t wait for you to follow us on our journey because together we can make a difference!