Today marks one week until Purple Day, my reason to be happy today, the day that aims to raise awareness about epilepsy, to move away from the stigma that far too often comes with epilepsy, to help both children and adults feel like they are not alone, to help their friends and family understand and not be scared or worry too much.
Epilepsy affects around 65 million people throughout the world and the 26th March is the day to recognise this in a way that makes anyone affected by epilepsy say, “hey, I’m not the only one,” and to realise that there is a huge support network out there. The aim is to firstly wear purple as a token and then anything more than that is a bonus, be it organising an event or just taking the time to explain why you’re wearing so much purple.
Purple Day was founded 5 years ago by a 9 year old Canadian girl, Cassidy, who wanted to tell her story and make people feel like there is help and understanding in the world. She’s the girl that had a vision and turned it into reality, she’s the girl that took Purple Day from her school in Canada and spread it all over the world from the UK to Macedonia, to Guatemala to Libya. It’s become a worldwide event but one that not many people know of, but one that everyone should know about.
You see for those with little knowledge of epilepsy the images that come to mind are of people with the hardest types of epilepsy to deal with, the ones that leave people feeling like they’ve lost complete control of their body and waking up to stares and worried faces, but that’s not the case for everyone with epilepsy, but the looks and thoughts that almost every epileptic has to deal with. Although some may not lose the control of their body, but rather the mind, for just a few seconds, it is still long enough to miss that juicy gossip or joke and leave them with the label as the one with their head in the clouds, the one away with the fairies or even the one that’s lives in their own little world. But it’s just as real and just as worthy of being understood.
Purple Day helps to raise awareness. Purple Day acts to express that epilepsy does not define a person, there will be some bad days, but they’ll also be a lot of good days. Just remember what an epileptic person will always have on non-epileptics, they have the perfect excuse to why they weren’t listening, regardless of the actual situation, all it takes is this sentence followed by a cheeky grin…
“I’m epileptic, my brain does what it likes sometimes.”
Be the change you want to see in the world, wear Purple on Purple Day – 26th March.