Snelling rises up to help the Epilepsy Foundation

Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling (44) runs into the end zone past Arizona Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson for the first of two touchdowns during 2nd quarter action for a 17-7 lead at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010.  (Curtis Compton/

Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling (44) runs into the end zone past Arizona Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson for the first of two touchdowns during 2nd quarter action for a 17-7 lead at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. (Curtis Compton/

Falcons running back Jason Snelling was recently featured in the Comcast On Demand series Rise Up: Role Models, and helped raise $5,000 for the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia.

Several players are featured on episodes of the show, which chronicles their involvement with various regional charities.

Snelling, who has epilepsy himself, focused his episode on his work with the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia and received the most unique views from fans. The station made the donation on his behalf.

 Fans can look at the full Snelling episode online on Comcast’s Get Local ATL Facebook page through April 25.

Fans can also enter a trivia contest based on the episode to win a Falcon’s helmet autographed by Snelling and a Falcons flag signed by all the players featured on Rise Up: Role Models. The episode and entry form are available. CLICK HERE.

“Rise Up: Role Models showed viewers that Falcons team members aren’t just good players, they are also amazing citizens with big hearts,” said Melanie Snare, executive TV producer and marketing manager for Get Local ATL in a statement. “Like the Falcons, Comcast is dedicated to improving our community, and we’re so excited to support Jason Snelling’s outstanding work with the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia by helping fund the quality programs and services they provide.”

In the episode, Snelling is shown visiting children at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, some who were there to undergo treatment for the condition.

Snelling routinely shares his personal story with children and answers their questions, such as how to make friends and maintain a driver’s license. He advises children to be honest with others about their condition and to build a strong support system of friends and family members.

“It’s important to me to share my story about having epilepsy, because I know it helps other children and parents when I am honest about my struggles and experiences,” Snelling said in a statement. “I know they appreciate the honesty and the hope that I bring. Epilepsy is a part of my daily life, and I’m happy Comcast featured my journey on their show and am thrilled they are donating money to the foundation.”

Snelling developed epilepsy at a late age and connected with the foundation after coming to Georgia in hopes of showing kids that seizures do not have to limit their aspirations. He has been involved with many of the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia’s fundraisers and events, including the annual Taste of Love gala and Magnolia Run.

“Jason Snelling is the winning Rise Up Role Model because of his openness in sharing his personal story of living with epilepsy, an uncommon occurrence in the epilepsy community,” said Pam Murphy, executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia. “Because of his efforts, many people with seizure disorders are no longer afraid or ashamed of their condition. As a person with epilepsy, his willingness to speak out brings an awareness of the disorder and the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia’s mission that could not be duplicated by staff or volunteers.”

Approximately 1.5 percent of the population has epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia provides emergency medication assistance and aids patients and their communities through various support and informational services. The organization also conducts educational in-services sessions throughout the state to increase awareness about epilepsy and seizures.

All 12 episodes of Rise Up: Role Models are currently available On Demand as part of Comcast’s Get Local ATL programming, which offers content on Atlanta sports, music, dating, family fun, local events and more.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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8 comments Add your comment


April 18th, 2012
4:49 pm

Lot of respect for snelling, hope he continues to get better


April 18th, 2012
6:24 pm

Mr. Ledbetter,

Enjoyed your article on Drew Butler. One correction though, I recall D. Butler had a punt blocked by Vandy last year that gave most of us Dawg fans a heart attack. Fortunately Butler saved the day by tripping up the Vandy player who had scooped the ball and was headed for the end zone.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 18th, 2012
10:31 pm

sogadog — Mr. Butler was credited with the block punt. He officially has no blocked punts. The “team” was credited with that block. Thanks for your help.

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April 19th, 2012
8:16 am

I had no idea that Julio Jones wore number 49 and played for the Cardinals before playing for the Falcons. Or is that his evil twin?


April 19th, 2012
12:23 pm

‘Nuff respect to Jason Snelling for using his status and his personal testimony to create awareness and encourage those who suffer from epilepsy to reach towards their goals. We had a scare a few months ago when our one year old was having seizures. Fortunately, it didn’t turn out to be a permanent condition. However, I was intent on teaching her to not allow it to hamper her dreams as she grows up. Snelling is the epitome of a success story.

Fire Smitty and Dimitroff

Mike Rivers

April 19th, 2012
4:11 pm

Well, he sure as hell didn’t rise down.

Claudia Woodruff

April 22nd, 2012
9:43 pm

Jason Snelling is a wonderful man! He tells his story with grace and offers support to those of us with epilepsy/seizure disorders. I am so thankful for the work he has done for the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia and to shine a light on a disorder that some people still try hide.