March 26th is Global Purple Day in honor of those fighting Epilepsy. It is a day to educate the masses and bring awareness to those who may not know much about Epilepsy. As you may know from my previous post (you can read here), my family deals with Epilepsy everyday. My husband fights this illness and has been since he was a teen. He experiences seizures only in his sleep. I have become his greatest advocate and biggest fan. Sadly there are still so many myths and stigmas associated with Epilepsy. Pubic awareness and education are crucial to making progress on this disease.
Global Purple Day was founded by a young girl named Cassidy Megan in 2008. Cassidy is an amazing and inspirational Canadian girl who wants to get people talking about Epilepsy, dispel myths of the illness and comfort those that may be fighting Epilepsy everyday. In 2008 The Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia helped Cassidy launch Global Purple Day for epilepsy. Then in 2009 the New York based Anita Kauffman Foundation joined forces and has supported the campaign.
Five years ago Cassidy appealed to the parliament and asked that on March 26th every member to wear purple, and they did! They now have an established day in Canada recognizing Epilepsy all because of this brave young girl. Now Cassidy is hoping to take the campaign to the Ellen DeGeneres show. Check out her video to Ellen! After watching it please share with all you know. I hope and pray Cassidy gets the chance to go on the Ellen show to educate and bring light to Epilepsy and those living with it everyday.
On March 26th people from all over the world (over 80 countries) will celebrate Purple Day. If you would like to participate you can go to Global Purple Day‘s website and download educational materials. You can even pledge to become an Ambassador of Purple! I know I am going to be rockin’ a LOT of purple that day!
If you or someone you know and love is fighting Epilepsy, then I encourage you to become an advocate as well. Epilepsy affects over 65 million people worldwide. That’s more than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease combined. In North America there’s roughly 3 million people affected by Epilepsy.
Fact (I grabbed these from the Epilepsy Alliance for Young Adults FB page)
- According to Epilepsia (journal), epilepsy is among the least understood of major chronic medical conditions, even though one in three adults knows someone with the disorder in the United States.
- A seizure disorder is epilepsy. Because some people fear the word “epilepsy,” they use the term “seizure disorder” in an attempt to separate themselves from any association with it. A seizure disorder means the same thing as epilepsy. A person has epilepsy if he/she has had two or more seizures that “come out of the blue” and are not provoked.
- People with epilepsy are not usually cognitively challenged. Many people mistakenly believe that people with epilepsy are also intellectually and/or developmentally challenged. In a majority of situations, this is not true. Like any group of people, we have different abilities. Many have epilepsy associated with brain injuries that may cause neurological and developmental difficulties, but the majority of us live productive lives just like everyone else.
- A leading non-medical problem confronting people with epilepsy is discrimination in employment. According to the Department of Labor, people with disabilities like epilepsy, make up only 20.7% of the workforce in the U.S. and their unemployment rate is 12.3%. To compare, the national average is currently 7.9%. Think discrimination doesn’t exist? Think again.
- In the United States, epilepsy is as common as breast cancer, and takes as many lives. Up to 50,000 Americans die each year from seizures and related causes, including drownings and other accidents.
Basic Seizure First Aid
Basic Seizure First-Aid (To Call or Not to Call 911) ONLY CALL IF:
1. A seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or repeats
2. It is someone’s first seizure
3. Person is injured or in water during seizure
4. Person is pregnant or has diabetes
5. Person does not regain consciousness or has difficulty breathing
I hope to do my part in educating people and supporting those with Epilpesy and their friends and family. If you have Epilepsy or know someone who does I again encourage you to celebrate Purple Day. If you do, I would love to hear what you did and how to celebrated. I hope to see a day where more is known about Epilepsy, there are more options for treatment and the stigma’s associated with it disappear. Thank you kind readers for any and all support!