Tuesday, May 25, 2010

JONTY RHODES - more than d acts of defying gravity on the cricket field!!!

Jonty Rhodes, a sensational South African cricketer known for his catching abilities, diving around the field is debatably one of the best fielders ever in the world. But Jonty Rhodes also has epilepsy ( a disease with seizures ortherwise called fits ) .He definitely does not let that phase him, instead is an advocate, promoting and making epilepsy aware in the world.

In the journey, he has learnt several lessons, the foremost among them being — "never give up". Cricket's fielding legend, the astonishing shot stopper, whose blond hair bobbed up each time he swooped on the ball, was diagnosed with epilepsy, when just six. "In 1975, there wasn't much known about epilepsy. Then, there was a stigma attached to people with it," he says.

He found an avenue to defeat epilepsy, and it was sports, his passion. "The only thing I couldn't do was to play rugby. I played most other games including hockey. I did not need too much medication. By the time I got to 21, I had got over it. The medication is now available for people with epilepsy. It cannot be cured overnight, but it can be controlled."

Jonty first became known on the cricketing scene when South African cricket got back on track after apartheid was abolished with and sport could be played overseas again. It was the first World Cup for South Africa and nobody knew what to expect from the team since everything was brand new. South Africa was playing again Pakistan. A young Jonty sped like lightning, picked up the ball and flew through the air, hitting the stumps to get rid of Inzaman Ul-Haq. After this Jonty Rhodes becames a household word as he grew from strength to strength.

A couple of years later Jonty broadcasts on television adverts for National Epilepsy in South Africa how epileptics are able to go on with their everyday lives, emphasising the need to incorporate everyone with disabilities. Jonty also says that if people did not give him the chance to play cricket as a youngster and rather right him off because of the fact that he is an epileptic no one would realize his potential. Of course there are certain aspects in life that are limiting, for example in South Africa, rugby is the primary sport which should be avoided by epileptics because of the constant contact and injury which could trigger off seizures. Swimming and surfing alone is also highly dangerous because of the chance of drowning. Because of these limitations people sometimes feel depressed, feeling sorry for themselves, thinking why is this terrible thing happening to me and why can’t I do the things others can do. It’s all about attitude and right frame of mind.

About 50 million in the world live with epilepsy.There can be two people with epilepsy. The one has a great attitude, talking to people who have just been diagnosed with the disability, giving their experiences and then there can be another with an unhealthy attitude, feeling like it’s the end of the world. The choice is up to the individual.

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