Coach Kill setting up epilepsy training fund

Rebecca and Jerry Kill (Alex Friedrich / MPR)

University of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill and his wife are setting up a fund to pay for training on how to respond to epileptic seizures.

Kill suffers from epilepsy, and has missed all or part of some games because of seizures.

He says the help he received from his wife, Rebecca, and others during one episode was crucial.

“If it wasn’t for them knowing what to do, I wouldn’t be speaking here today,” he told reporters this morning. “They saved my life, and now it’s time for me to step up to the plate and help others in our great state.”

But Rebecca Kill says she wasn’t in a position to do that until she became educated about responding.

“The first time I ever saw him have one, of course I didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “I wasn’t very calm, screaming, you know — don’t know what to do.”

In addition to funding training, the money would also support a camp for young people with epilepsy.

Kill says he has donated $100,000 to the fund so far, and hopes to raise at least another $400,000 by August.

He made the announcement in conjunction with the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, which will administer the fund.