26th March is Purple Day, global initiative dedicated to raising awareness of epilepsy. Each year on this date people around the world are invited to wear purple and host or get involved in local epilepsy initiatives and events.
This year, Purple Day looks a little different, with social distancing measures and restrictions on public gatherings due to COVID-19 changing the way people are acknowledging the occasion. Two of our AEP lived experience ambassadors, Rachel and Amanda, share how Purple Day looks for them in 2020!
This Purple Day is quite different from years past, as most of us are self-isolating due to the Coronavirus. In times like this, we are very lucky to be able to spread awareness for Epilepsy and the Australian Epilepsy Project (AEP) through various social media avenues.
Throughout my journey with Epilepsy, I realised that Epilepsy has touched so many people in our communities, whether that be friends, family, classmates or colleagues. I want people to feel proud and unashamed of their journey and achievements while living with Epilepsy as it is no easy feat.
Today I am celebrating Purple Day by wearing a purple tracksuit (one of the perks of being in isolation is getting to wear comfy clothes!) and painting my nails purple. I will also be sharing my story through my own social media accounts to try and raise awareness for Epilepsy.
In the past on Purple Day I have done a fun run at Hanging Rock and raised over $1000 for Epilepsy and sold purple merchandise. I would paint my nails purple and get my kids to wear purple if I could convince their school to celebrate the day. School is not running here in Victoria so unfortunately that option was off the cards. I have also done media for my local papers to help raise awareness, but this year due to interview restrictions that wasn’t possible either.
I was tempted not to bother with my nails or dressing up in purple as we are at home not seeing anyone, but I think I’ll still do that and post a photo on social media instead! I’ll sharing my thoughts about Purple Day through the AEP’s channels and my personal social media accounts as I feel there will be more people than ever using social media while they are in isolation – it’s the perfect time to share the purple love online! It’s coming up to 10 years since my life-changing surgery in July 2010 so I’ll continue my epilepsy awareness well into July as well 💜.
Happy Purple Day to all of our supporters, from everyone in the AEP team!