QB Brett Hundley helps raise awareness for epilepsy at annual 5K
Redshirt junior quarterback Brett Hundley attended the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles’ 5k walk/run for the third straight year to continue his mission to end epilepsy, which affects his sister, Paris Hundley. (Max Himmelrich/Daily Bruin)
By Matt Joye
Nov. 17, 2014 1:45 a.m.
Brett Hundley’s trip started at 3 a.m. on Sunday morning.
He was headed from his home state of Arizona to the Rose Bowl for an event that he has participated in for the last three years.
It wasn’t a football game, meeting or practice. It was the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles’ annual 5K walk/run.
The redshirt junior quarterback was there for the third straight year to continue his mission to end epilepsy, a neurological disorder that has affected his sister, Paris Hundley, throughout her life.
“It’s an honor for me – with the platform I have – to be able to give back, help out my sister, help out everybody who’s in the fight to end epilepsy,” Brett Hundley said.
Hundley’s steady ascendance on the college football platform over the past three years has done more than just put UCLA football on the map. It has helped raise awareness for epilepsy, as evidenced by another increase in attendance at the 5K walk/run this year.
“It’s amazing, to see where (this event has) come,” Hundley said. “To see two years ago to last year to this year, and to see the growth and how many more people come. … We’ve got ‘Team Hundley’ everywhere.”
‘Team Hundley’ is a slogan that UCLA’s standout quarterback and his family have developed over the past few years not only to support Brett Hundley on the football field, but also Paris Hundley in her fight against epilepsy.
“There will always be a ‘Team Hundley’ from now on,” Paris Hundley said at the event. “You know, Brett put it out there, and now we’re gonna keep it going.”
The Hundley family name, and #TeamHundley, have come to represent more than football. They have become synonymous with a team of people throughout the world fighting to find a cure for epilepsy. And as Brett Hundley’s name continues to rise in the college football ranks and possibly to the NFL, the rise in awareness for epilepsy will carry on with him.
“(We’re) raising awareness, finally,” Paris Hundley said. “I feel like since we started the walk … more and more (people) know and they ask about it, rather than before – no one even bothered.”
Brett Hundley’s connection to epilepsy extends beyond his sister. He has reached out to many others with the disorder, bonding with them and encouraging them in any way he can.
Joseph Garcia, a 17-year-old who was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2013, got a chance to meet the UCLA quarterback for an ESPN segment in early October, and the two have remained in close contact since. On Sunday, Garcia was at the Rose Bowl, standing right between both Brett and Paris Hundley, calling Brett Hundley his brother and Paris Hundley his sister.
“(Brett’s) just this big inspiration to me. He keeps me moving, he keeps me going on,” Garcia said.
Brett Hundley will keep going as well in his mission to help people like Garcia, Paris Hundley and the 65 million people worldwide with epilepsy. Each Hundley run, pass or catch does more than just aim for the end zone – it also ties into his fight to end epilepsy.