Happy Purple Day! Friday the 26th of March, a day for Epilepsy Awareness. Purple Day is a global initiative dedicated to raising epilepsy awareness which was founded in 2008 by 9-year-old Cassidy Megan of Canada, who was motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy. Her aim was to get people talking about the condition and to help those impacted by seizures know that they are not alone.
As someone with a lived experience of epilepsy, this day means a lot to me. One of the hardest things after being diagnosed with Epilepsy at 23yo, was the stigma surrounding it and the fear from others. I initially would not talk about it and would not let workplaces know of my condition. I was really concerned that if people knew they would think I was less capable or a danger to be around. It was embarrassing that I could lose control of my body at any moment and that others would be frightened of me. Looking back, increased awareness would have made me feel more supported to talk about my epilepsy and I would have felt less ashamed and embarrassed. 18 years on and I am a loud and proud advocate for epilepsy, working as an Ambassador for the Australian Epilepsy Project. I am comfortable to speak about my experience of living with epilepsy and want to break down the perception that it should be something to hide. I think of myself as an epilepsy warrior now! I have been through a great deal and it has made me a much stronger and more compassionate person. I’m not alone, neither are you.
One of the most visible and exciting initiatives this year is the large number of key landmarks across Victoria and NSW that are being lit up in purple light!
So specifically, on Friday 26th March – Talk about epilepsy, wear a little purple and join us in raising awareness for people living with epilepsy and their families.