A Fight Worth Fighting - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

A Fight Worth Fighting

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 Nick Winge is like any other grade school boy. He's enjoying his summer in Argyle, Minnesota, before starting third grade this fall.

But Nick is a little different from his classmates. He has been fighting benign rolandic epilepsy of childhood since February of 2011.

It's a diagnoses that originally frightened his parents. But time has given them perspective.

"We gotta let him be a kid," Staci Winge explained "And what kid constantly wants their parents 'big-brothering' them?!" she laughed.

According to the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota's website, one in ten people will have a seizure in their lifetime. One in 26 will develop epilepsy. 

One of those most famous for it, is Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill.

"There's kids that have 50-100 seizures a day and people don't understand that," Coach Kill explained while visiting Argyle on Monday. "That's what we're trying to get across. This isn't something you can just wait on. We have to get after it."

Jerry Kill was in Northern Minnesota this week to share his story and bring attention to the epilepsy conversation. The event, affectionately referred to as 'Jerrysota Day' raised money for the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota and the American Cancer Society.

They are two organizations close to Kill's heart, as a cancer survivor and epilepsy victim. He's been actively working to share his story since his first public seizure in 2011.

Kill came under fire since taking the head coaching roll at Minnesota. He has suffered from five different seizures during the last three seasons. Kill says he welcomes the criticism though because that means people are talking and educating the public on epilepsy. And that, will only help.

"You know I've lived a full life," Kill explained. "I'm blessed but let kids like Nick be able to get the grasp around and research to help great kids like that."

While Kill continues his mission to inform and educate; It's stops like this one in Argyle that can sometimes make the wait and pain for a kid like Nick a little less hard.

"I got to go on stage with him and he gave me this bracelet," Nick said when explaining his day with the Big Ten football coach. "He said it was his lucky bracelet."

"I don't get too emotional too often but I was tearing up. It was huge," his mom said of seeing her son standing next to Coach Kill. "You're so lucky if you have a child who can meet their hero. That's pretty awesome."

"I'm not near as tough as people think I am. I have my downs just like everybody else," Kill says. "But who knows, I don't k now what the future brings and no one here does. I take one step at a time."

Sports reporter Beth Hoole can be reached for comment or future story ideas at bethh@valleynewslive.com or on Twitter: @bethhooleVNL

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