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Team Muhammad represents at 2019 Epilepsy Fall Fest 5K

By Tamiko G. Muhammad | Last updated: Oct 8, 2019 - 1:41:55 PM

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Team Muhammad

CHICAGO, IL—Believers from Mosque Maryam in Chicago participated in the 2019 Epilepsy Fall Fest 5K hosted by the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago (EFGC) and Northwestern Medicine, on the campus of Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, Sept. 28.

Those organizing the team from Mosque Maryam worried that the walk might be canceled due to inclement weather. However, the rain seemed to dissipate as soon as team members stepped off the bus at the Northwestern Lakeside Field.

The sky was dull, but the atmosphere was bright. Representatives for the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago gave opening remarks and had a choir sing inspirational songs to “fire up” the participants for the journey ahead.

In preparation for the 5K (3.1 miles) course, participants accepted bottles of water and fruit from Epilepsy Foundation staff and made their way to the starting line. Those who planned to run the distance lined up first, followed by those who would walk.

Yolanda T. Muhammad with Final Call staffer, Tamiko Muhammad

The group, traveling from Chicago’s southside and hailing from 73rd Street and Stony Island Avenue, donned the moniker “Team Muhammad.” The team consisted of more than 30 believers that walked or ran in honor and loving memory of Jalil Fahim Muhammad, who had epilepsy. Brother Jalil was the son of Brother Lyle Muhammad and Sister Yolanda T. Muhammad, who have been active participants in the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago Walkathon since 2002. They also organized and hosted their own walkathon in May 2017, to help raise awareness in their own community. “The need for information, advocacy and support is crucial to anyone suffering with epilepsy, and that’s what we got from the Epilepsy Foundation,” said Sister Yolanda.

The MGT Vanguard also represented: (L-R) Gabrielle Muhammad, Ayanna Y. Muhammad and Bahjah Muhammad.
The route at this year’s Fall Fest was cold, wet and muddy, but the team braved the 59-degree weather. There were even some slips and falls, but participants from Team Muhammad completed the walk! The youth really enjoyed the event, cheering for each Route Marshal they saw and posing for pictures as they reached each mile marker.

Brother Lyle and Sister Yolanda feel a special connection to the EFGC, because of the support received by their family. Each year since 2011, Brother Lyle and Sister Yolanda, in conjunction with Mosque Maryam and Muhammad University of Islam, have organized a team to join in the walk, either as participants or official route marshals. Over the years, the support has grown tremendously. Brother Lyle Muhammad stated, “I appreciate the love and support of the Mosque Maryam family in honor of my son, Jalil Fahim Muhammad. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

(L) Nyah Tsai with giant polaroid frame (R) Jalil Muhammad’s siblings, Hakeem and Naimah, embrace at end of the walk.

(L) Participants begin the three mile trek across campus. (R) Students and alumni of Muhammad University of Islam at mile marker 3.

(L) Members of Team Muhammad cross the finish line. (R) Madinah Muhammad and Jameelah Taylor

(According to the EFGC, Epilepsy is a medical condition that produces seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions. It’s also called a seizure disorder. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy. A seizure happens when a brief, strong surge of electrical activity affects part or all of the brain. One in 10 adults will have a seizure sometime during their life. For more information, visit: