Community rallies around boy battling epilepsy

Posted at 7:05 AM, Oct 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-05 07:05:15-04

Collin Stempniewski, 11, is like most boys his age, but he has three simple wishes, many might take for granted.

He hopes to not have to rely a wheelchair or his helmet and also wants to be able to use a public bathroom like the other kids in school.

Right now, he has to use special private ones.

Collin has been a fighter most of his life.

He battled leukemia for three years when he was younger.  While he has been in remission, he was soon after diagnosed with epilepsy.

“I even told his oncologist the other day that the cancer was easier than the epilepsy,” said Collin’s mom Kathleen Stempniewski.  “This has been really hard, very difficult.”

Collin has four types of seizures and the most difficult ones, are called drop seizures, according to his family. 

It is because of this condition Collin, who is able to walk, needs a wheelchair and helmet.

“It just comes out of no where and he will just fall.  That’s why we have the helmet.  He falls quite a few times throughout the day,” said Kathleen.

At the end of October, Collin is going to Denver for brain surgery that hopefully will stop the drop seizures.

“Just to get him back to a normal life,” said Collin’s dad Grey Stempneiwski.

The Stempniewskis, who had to sell their home due to extremely high medical bills over the years,  are need of help.


Sunday, a fundraiser was held at Tina’s Country House in Macomb Township to help them.


Supporters wore purple shirts that read “Never Give Up,” a quote from John Cena.


Collin is a super-huge fan of the wrestler.

Hundreds of people bought tickets to the event.


“It’s very overwhelming,” said Kathleen.  “It’s wonderful what Mary Jo here at Tina’s has done… just all of the love and support.  It’s been wonderful.”

Collin is very grateful for all of the support.


His family is optimistic about the upcoming surgery and so is he.


It is no surprise wrestling is his favorite sport.  This is a fight he is determined to win.


“Never give up,” said Collin.


Anyone interested in helping Collin can send a check made out to Collin Stempniewski and send them to Tina’s Country House at 50828 North Avenue, Macomb, MI 48042 or call (586) 949-2288.