Purple Day (26th March) is a global initiative dedicated to raising awareness of epilepsy. Purple Day was founded in 2008 by nine-year-old Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, Canada.
Motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy, Cassidy started Purple Day in an effort to get people talking about the condition and to let those impacted by seizures know they are not alone.
Since then, thousands of individuals, schools and workplaces have joined the campaign, wearing purple and hosting Purple Day events throughout the month of March.
Epilepsy is a condition of the brain that is characterized by recurrent seizures.
A seizure happens when abnormal electrical activity in the brain causes an involuntary change in body movement, sensation, awareness, or behaviour.
Currently, an estimated 65 million people worldwide live with epilepsy – in Australia, approximately 250,000 people are affected and 1 in 25 people will have epilepsy at some point in their life.
Doctor Ryan Harvey from House Call Doctor discussed the importance of generating awareness.
“Although epilepsy is widely recognised by the public, it is poorly understood,” Dr Harvey said.
“Public misunderstanding and stigma can limit life opportunities for people with the condition – and epilepsy does not discriminate. It can develop at any age, regardless of gender or ethnicity.”
Australians can show their support for epilepsy sufferers by hosting a Purple Day fundraising event, purchasing merchandise or making a donation.