Jacob Ronald Knapp: August 5, 1986 - March 2, 2009.
What do you do when you're told your child died from SUDEP. SUDEP? What the hell is SUDEP. That was our reaction when we received a call on March 2nd, 2009 that Jake had passed away while attending Columbia College in Chicago. We have learned that SUDEP is a condition that occurs during a seizure in which the energy from the brain that runs your heart and lungs disconnects and causes death. Doctors have been unable to explain why this happens and how to prevent it, other than control the seizures themselves. Having feelings of anxiety and uneasiness, Jake was diagnosed in high school of having anxiety. Medication didn't seem to help and he continued to fight these symptoms. He had his first seizure in the winter of 2008 and another in the summer. Neurologists couldn't find any problems and told us to monitor his seizures to see if he could pinpoint their causes. Unfortunately his next seizure was his last. Upset, we asked the neurologists why they wouldn't inform us of the possiblity of SUDEP, and their response was they don't tell the patients because they don't want to worry them. We didn't agree with that thought process and decided to work towards raising awareness and support others who have gone through similar situations.
For most of Jake's life he was adverse to going barefoot. Even when he had sandals on he still had to wear his socks. At his funeral many of his friends wore socks and sandals to the ceremony as a fitting trbiute to their lost friend. This inspired us to have a Socks and Sandals Golf Tournament, to raise money to help fight against seizures and epilepsy.
In August of 2009 we had over 140 golfers and 30 volunteers and raised over $6500. In 2010 we raised over $7000. This year we moved our tournament to Applewood Golf Course and with 144 players, 30 volunteers and unbelievable support from family, friends and sponsors we raised over $10,000 !!!!! WOW. Add it all up and Socks and Sandals has raised over $23,000 in just a few short years.
This site is dedicated to Jake and his memory. He was a person of immense love and humor. Jake's friend Cal once stated, "Jake told me if it wasn't funny, he wanted nothing to do with it". Please if you have a thought or a humorous story leave it on the Thoughts and Stories page.
This year we again teamed up with the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota and we also teamed up with Dannydid Foundation of Chicago. These two foundations are helping us lead the charge against SUDEP.
Please if you're suffering from seizures or know someone who is, seek to be educated and take them seriously. They can be controlled. For further information please go to epilepsyfoundationmn.org or dannydid.org.