When Global TV news reporter Mark McAllister suffered through an attack of on-air verbal gobbledygook in March 2011, most observers just assumed it was some kind of screwup rather than anything more serious.
ABC late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel played the clip on his show the next evening, commenting that it seemed as if McAllister was reading “from a melted teleprompter.” Kimmel played the clip both backward and forward, to show that there wasn’t much difference. Kimmel then concluded, “Does anyone here speak Canadian?”
In all fairness to Kimmel, he couldn’t have known there was something medically amiss with McAllister. Heck, McAllister didn’t know. But subsequently, McAllister was diagnosed with epilepsy, a disease that affects one in every 100 Canadians.
This Saturday, March 9, Global is airing a half-hour feature titled Focus Ontario: Inside Epilepsy. McAllister speaks openly about his on-air seizure and the fallout, which eventually led to his diagnosis.
Produced to coincide with Epilepsy Awareness Month, Focus Ontario: Inside Epilepsy provides an in-depth look at the medical efforts to understand, treat and explain the disorder. The special will share personal stories of those living with epilepsy and analyze the stigma of the condition, which often frustrates efforts to raise awareness.
Focus Ontario: Inside Epilepsy airs Saturday at 5:30 p.m. (Eastern time), on Global.