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'Life's too short' - How condition became catalyst for DJ to fulfil comic con dreams

PUBLISHED: 15:37 16 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:37 16 November 2019

Level Up Leroy. PIC: Simon Dunkerly

Level Up Leroy. PIC: Simon Dunkerly

Archant

It was following New Year's Eve almost four years ago when a father of three was struck down by a condition which was to prove the launchpad for his career as DJ.

Lee Rodgers. PIC: Submitted by Lee Rodgers.Lee Rodgers. PIC: Submitted by Lee Rodgers.

Lee Rodgers, who started DJing at the former Liquid nightclub, also played at the former Roccos bar on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich but began feeling unwell early in 2016 following a New Year's Eve gig.

The former Taverham High School pupil, who is now in his 30s, had been suffering headaches when his face "suddenly dropped".

Mr Rodgers, who lives in Spixworth with his wife Sarah and children Max, Zach and Nancy, had no idea what was happening but found out he had been struck down with Bells Palsy - a condition that causes temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face.

It can occur when the nerve that controls your facial muscles becomes inflamed, swollen, or compressed. The condition causes one side of your face to droop or become stiff.

Level Up Leroy: PIC: Karen WoodhamLevel Up Leroy: PIC: Karen Woodham

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Mr Rodgers had "no warning" it was going to happen and suffered panic attacks as a result of the condition which he described as being "one of the scariest things to happen to me".

But although he knew nothing about Bells Palsy at the time it has proved to be one of the most significant events in his life, leading to the transformation from DJ Leroy to Level Up Leroy.

He said: "Once I had got over that I decided that life's too short and went for broke on an idea that I'd had for putting my two passions together - Comic nerdy stuff and DJing."

Mr Rodgers, who also plays Sci-Fi weekenders in Great Yarmouth and the Nor-Con event at Norfolk Showground, has described it as being the "catalyst" to him following his dreams and playing some of the biggest events in the world.

They include MCM, Granite City Comic Con, Warped Con, the 2018 NewYork Comic Con, Cyprus Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration Chicago Comic Con Africa and another trip to New York earlier this year.

The former Norwich City College student, who also DJs for the LGBTQ+ community at Fetch nightclub in Norwich, has now urged others to follow their dreams.

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