About the founder and director of Race For Epilepsy
James P. Patterson III first started having seizures when he was 5 years old in 1985. As he got older his seizures became more frequent and more intense. By the time he was 17, James was having an average of 25 seizures per day. It was then he decided that he wanted to have brain surgery since his medication was having little to no effect on his epilepsy.
In 1997 James had a VEEG (video electroencephalogram) performed on him at Wake Forest University. During the test James had a tonic-clonic seizure (formerly known as grand mal seizure) that lasted approximately 40 minutes. The doctors and medical staff were able to detect that the seizures were starting in the left temporal lobe of the brain. In the summer of 1997 James had his left temporal lobe and hippocampus removed.
James has been seizure free since the surgery. His side effects from the surgery are: difficulties in expressive communication, weak vocabulary, and difficulties in recalling information (memory). After years of therapy, medication, and counseling; James has adapted to the issues.
While working on his bachelors at Appalachian State University, James started speaking publicly about his disability. He graduated from Appalachian in 2004 and immediately got a full time job providing public service to the community that he still has at this day.
James has spent 5 years volunteering in the epilepsy and neuro ICU at Carolina’s Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. James spoke to individuals and families as an advocate for epilepsy. He had the honor of being a committee member of LUNGSTRONG 15K race in Charlotte, NC for 7 years.
James has been a runner since his freshman year of high school in 1994. Staying physically active (mostly running) has helped him handle the following side effects due to epilepsy: anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder. He enjoys running half marathons, marathons, and ultras.
He has a wonderful wife with two adorable dogs they call their children.