Memoir about epilepsy brings Kurt Eichenwald to GR

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A New York Times bestselling author who used his investigative journalism skills to document his struggle with epilepsy will talk about his book in Grand Rapids Thursday.

“It was a very bizarre undertaking, particularly since now viewers are calling it a psychological thriller, a medical thriller. It’s like, this is just my life,” Kurt Eichenwald told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday.

Eichenwald will sign also copies of his book, “A Mind Unraveled: A Memoir” at Schuler Books on 28th Street SE.

His visit to West Michigan comes during Epilepsy Awareness Month.

“The reason I wrote the book was basically to say enough.That I am stepping forward, I’m talking about my circumstances, which were pretty horrible,” he said.

Eichenwald says he wrote the book to raise awareness and inspire the 3.4 million people living with epilepsy. 

“It’s sort of a cycle. You have a lot of people who are ignorant of it — they don’t hear about it, they don’t learn about it, they don’t know that epilepsy kills people. They don’t know that people with epilepsy are subjected to enormous discrimination, they’re thrown out of schools, they’re fired from their jobs,” said Eichenwald. “And so the flipside is you have people with epilepsy who won’t talk about it. They’re hiding. And when you have 3.4 million people with the disease, 1 in 26, and people are not hearing about it, it just feeds into the ignorance.”

Eichenwald’s advice to others dealing with the disorder: find a good doctor who has humility.

“Epilepsy is not that easy. Epilepsy, there are no simple answers. And the doctor who actually saved my life was the one who said, ‘We will do this and I don’t know what will happen, but if it doesn’t work, we will try something else,’” Eichenwald said.

The book signing begins at 7 p.m. and seating is first come, first served. Proceeds from the event will go to charity.

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