On last night’s episode (Wednesday June, 15th 2011), each contestant had 8 seconds to list interesting traits about themselves. During Melanie Moore’s 8 second interview, she said:
“I’m Melanie Moore, age 19, Marietta Georgia, I love chocolate chip cookies, I collect nail polish, I used to wear a helmet because I was narcoleptic, and I really want to be on Ellen…”
Melanie’s phrasing – “I used to wear a helmet because I was narcoleptic” leaves me uncertain if she has narcolepsy or not. Narcolepsy is a chronic autoimmune neurological disorder, thus if she was accurately diagnosed with narcolepsy, she would still have the condition.
Also, I have not heard of anyone wearing a helmet for narcolepsy, but maybe this would be a form of protection if she has severe episodes of cataplexy (a form of muscle paralysis/loss of muscle tone unique to some people with narcolepsy).
To my knowledge, this was the first time Melanie mentioned narcolepsy on the show. Maybe with a little more explanation, this will make more sense. Obviously, she was rushing because she only had 8 seconds to describe herself.
If Melanie Moore does have narcolepsy, I hope it will be discussed much more, as she would be an incredible role model for the many children and young adults with narcolepsy!
Regardless, she is a beautiful talented dancer and I wish her the best of luck this season. I will keep you posted if I hear more.
Here is her breathtaking routine with Marko from last night: