November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Few, if any, players in the NFL are more well-versed in this condition than Chicago Bears star quarterback Justin Fields. This is simply because of the fact that the 23-year-old himself suffers from the neurological disorder.

Fields was in ninth grade when he had his first episode. At that time, he hadn’t even been diagnosed. All he remembers is that he was feeling “a little bit off” on the morning of the incident. During class, Fields recalls zoning out a couple of times. When he finally passed out, it wasn’t until he was inside an ambulance on the way to a nearby hospital that he regained consciousness.

Fields says that according to accounts, school officials tried to get his classmates out of the room while he was having the attack. He was “foaming in the mouth” and at that time, nobody really knew what was going on.

Fields was later diagnosed with epilepsy, which doctors traced back to his mom, who also had it as a teenager but was able to outgrow the condition after a few years. At that point in time, Fields felt the weight of the world on his shoulders as he battled through the uncertainty surrounding the condition:

“I was crying, because I didn’t know how that would affect my football career,” Fields recently told ESPN.

“That’s what my first fear was. “When I was first diagnosed, I was like, ‘Dang, football is like — I’m getting hit in the head all the time. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to play for a long time.’ But I don’t think it was a big conversation with the neurologist.”

Thankfully, epilepsy did not and continues not to have an effect on the Bears star’s football career. He’s learned how to manage the condition by taking his prescribed medication.

Fields, who is currently sidelined due to a shoulder injury, says that he knows whenever an attack is coming. He had his last one a couple of years ago before the draft.

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“When I did have them, it was just because I didn’t take my medicine,” Fields said. “There was one time I had one, I wanted to see if I grew out of it, because my mom grew out of it. So let me see if I did, too. But I don’t even play with it now.

“I know when I have one coming, I just forget what I’m doing, zone out and then boom, 30 seconds later be locked in, and then I’ll do it two or three times,” he said. “So once I do it two or three times, then I know something’s coming.”

Right now, Justin Fields is one of the brightest young stars in the NFL — proof that epilepsy is a condition that one can live with without being hindered by the same.