Golf has deep roots in John O’Hurley‘s life. Unfortunately, so does epilepsy.
The actor and TV personality, known for his role as eccentric catalog-clothier J. Peterman on Seinfeld and his annual hosting duties for NBC’s telecast of the National Dog Show, lost his 17-year-old sister to the seizure disorder in 1970.
O’Hurley has been an advocate for epilepsy awareness for more than 25 years, and he’ll team up again with former MLB pitcher and two-time World Series champ Josh Beckett as cohosts of The Leap Celebrity Golf Invitational to support the Epilepsy Foundation.
The 2021 tournament takes place Oct. 24-25 at Reflection Bay Golf Club in Lake Las Vegas and features a star-studded lineup of celebrity participants. Early commitments from the world of sports include Marcus Allen, Rollie Fingers, Grant Fuhr, Ozzie Smith, Willie Gault, Dan Jansen, Sterling Sharpe, Jose Alvarez, Mark Rypien, Doug Pederson, Peter Jacobsen, Jimmy Roberts and Red Bull athlete Brian Grubb. Bruce Campbell, Richard Karn, Rob Riggle, Shep Rose, Kevin Sorbo, Rick Harrison (Pawn Stars) and country-music artist Colt Ford are among the entertainers teeing it up in Vegas.
“Not enough attention has been given to epilepsy research because the disease just isn’t ‘sexy,’ O’Hurley says. Since its start in 2019, The Leap has raised more than $840,000 for the fight against epilepsy, an illness that is diagnosed in roughly one in 26 people.
O’Hurley is particularly involved in battling Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), which claimed his sister’s life.
“Once a child has been diagnosed with epilepsy, that will be the last good night’s sleep the parents will ever have,” O’Hurley says.
But researchers are close to identifying biomarkers — essentially warning signs — that could lead to prediction and ultimately prevention of seizures and instances of SUDEP. “If we are able to solve this biomarker challenge that we are trying to fund right now, this will be biggest leap that epilepsy research has made in 100 years.”
O’Hurley is also hosting a virtual golf tournament on the Ultimate Golf app Aug. 2-8 to benefit Childhelp, an organization that provides resources on child abuse prevention, intervention, and treatment.
Players can download the Ultimate Golf app, buy a $5 Childhelp golf ball (which flies 20% farther than a regular golf ball) and test their skills against celebrities like Alice Cooper, Steve Young, Joe Theismann, Guy Fieri, Annika Sorenstam, and more.
— PIX11 News (@PIX11News) July 23, 2021