Approximately 87 people are diagnosed with epilepsy every day, yet people continue to misconstrue what exactly this condition is all about. This is because, even though epilepsy is a common condition, understanding it can be challenging. Epilepsy Awareness Day, or Purple Day, aims to bring epilepsy awareness to the forefront.
Purple Day is observed every year on March 26th with the basic aim of starting conversations around epilepsy. It revolves around raising awareness so that myths can be dispelled and so that those affected by epilepsy feel comfortable discussing their condition with others. People also come together on this day to fundraise so that a difference is made in the lives of individuals living with this condition.
What is Purple Day all about?
When you know about epilepsy, and seizures in particular, you are more adept at acting promptly if the need arises and you can respond to the situation in a calm and composed manner. When people having a seizure obtain the proper assistance, they can be managed and treated more efficiently. When you are aware about different medical conditions and their treatments, you can understand those living with them in a better way. It is this understanding that Purple Day strives to achieve. On the whole, it is a gentle reminder to not avoid but rather have interactions about epilepsy. This inevitably diminishes stigma and negative feelings towards the condition.
How it came into existence
In 2008, nine-year-old Cassidy Megan founded Purple Day. Young Cassidy used her own epilepsy diagnosis as inspiration to bring about an awareness all over the globe. She took the initiative to raise awareness after realizing the extent of people’s recognition of epilepsy. Cassidy partnered with Anita Kaufmann Foundation of New York and the Epilepsy Association of the Maritimes (EAM) of Canada in 2009 and, as a result, Purple Day was launched internationally.
Today, global sponsors of Purple Day strive to bring epilepsy awareness to the spotlight in a better way and this is done through partnerships with organizations and individuals throughout continents. From the time Purple Day began, it has been working towards reaching a wider audience.
What does it stand for?
While the color lavender stands for solitude, it is also a color representing epilepsy awareness. Epilepsy Awareness Day so obtained the more popular name known as ‘Purple Day’. During Purple Day, you can get involved in a variety of activities that makes the public aware of epilepsy, seizures, and their triggers. This works to reduce the social stigma endured by many individuals with the condition, and to empower individuals living with epilepsy to take action in their communities.
What people do on that day and how to raise awareness?
While the basic aim is to raise awareness, the underlying purpose is to do it in a manner that keeps proceedings engaging. People usually wear purple while conducting and participating in various activities that are organized on this day, and posting about the activities on social media raises awareness to those who wouldn’t have ordinarily participated. You can also host a purple day event, such as a quiz night or a purple themed fundraising event, to raise awareness in your community about the condition. Scheduling a fun run/walk or gathering your friends and community to interact over lunch or brunch is also an interesting way to keep proceedings informative yet interesting. You can also try pursuing the creative route by indulging in activities that revolve around art – Purple day organizes a painting competition each year!
Alternatively, you can also come up with ideas to celebrate the day by interacting with people living with the condition. When conversing with them, it is vital to know what not to say to someone with epilepsy so that you can truly connect with them and are well versed with the steps that need to be taken to handle seizures. Attempt to understand their triggers and care as well so you can deal with them in a better way. Providing them with knowledge about helpful apps such as the Inspyre by SmartMonitor can make them more independent and give their family and friends peace of mind.