Daniel Allbeck’s Story

In May 2005, Daniel Allbeck was 22 years old and weeks away from finishing his junior year at the University of California, Riverside. Then he had his first seizures, a series of tonic-clonic episodes that landed him in the hospital for a week and changed the course of his life. He was diagnosed with epilepsy. After his initial struggles to control his seizures, Daniel was able to find a combination of medications that worked for him. With his seizures under control, he finished college and joined the Peace Corps. He was all set to go to Africa when the seizures returned and interrupted his plans. Unable to travel abroad with the Peace Corps, Daniel put this setback behind him and decided to pursue his dream of becoming a science teacher. Unfortunately, this career path was also put on hold due to his frequent, ongoing seizures in and out of the classroom.

Throughout these challenges, Daniel’s family stood alongside him, providing support, navigating the complex healthcare system, researching treatment options, and advocating for Daniel. It was this unrelenting search for answers that brought the Allbecks directly to CURE Epilepsy. Daniel’s parents, Paula and David, began volunteering at events, including CURE Epilepsy’s Day of Science (now called CURE Epilepsy CARES), a forum where physicians specializing in epilepsy share recent advances and answer questions from people with epilepsy and their loved ones. During one such event, the Allbecks made a discovery that gave them so much hope: Daniel might be a candidate for resective surgery to reduce his seizure frequency. The Allbeck family consulted with a doctor specializing in epilepsy surgery, who confirmed the good news. In March 2021, Daniel underwent successful resective surgery. Though he continues to take antiepileptic drugs, he no longer experiences tonic-clonic seizures. Daniel is hopeful and once again on track to realizing his dream of becoming a teacher, just like his parents.

To learn more about the Allbeck family’s journey with epilepsy, watch or listen to this episode of our Seizing Life podcast.