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article imagePurple Day raises Epilepsy awareness Special

By Amanda Payne     Mar 26, 2014 in Health
Social media has been overtaken by the colour purple today, March 26, to raise awareness about epilepsy and how it affects the lives of sufferers and their family and friends.
Purple Day began in 2008, from an idea of Cassidy Megan from Nova Scotia who developed epilepsy as a young child of seven. On her blog she writes:
"When I found out I had epilepsy I was 7 years old and I was so scared, embarrassed and I felt so alone. I really thought I was the only kid with epilepsy. I also thought that I was the only one with epilepsy who felt this way. I didn’t want anyone to know I had epilepsy and I wouldn’t let my parents or anyone talk about me having epilepsy."
With the support of her family and local associations, Cassidy persuaded people to wear purple on March 26 every year so as to get people talking about epilepsy and to correct some of the myths and misconceptions that surround the disease. Over the years, Purple Day has become a world wide phenomenon.
Among the events that will be taking place today is the appearance of a flock of purple sheep in a field beside the M8 motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh. This is as part of the 'Turn Scotland Purple' campaign which will also see famous landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle lit up with the colour purple.
From Australia to Canada, from the UK to the USA, schools, businesses and ordinary people are putting on their purple outfits and joining in fun runs, tea parties, concerts and thousands of other events to bring epilepsy to the forefront of the world's consciousness. Famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower will be lit up by purple lights. Epilepsy New Zealand is encouraging the country to really go for it this year:
"Epilepsy New Zealand is sending out a challenge to all New Zealanders – to make Purple Day 2014 the biggest it has ever been."
In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister David Cameron has lent his support to the campaign. In a statement he said:
“Raising awareness of conditions like epilepsy is incredibly important and events like Purple Day can make a huge contribution in how we treat and think about the issue.The NHS is striving to make real improvements to get people with long-term conditions the care and support they need. I urge everyone to get behind Purple Day and help society to better understand epilepsy and the people who live with it.”
Epilepsy affects over 60,000 people in the UK, more than 2 million in the USA and about 65 million people worldwide. Read more information about the disease here andhere.
The video at the start of this article gives information on what first aid to give someone having an epileptic seizure. Let's all take a little time today to learn more about epilepsy and what to do if you see someone having a seizure. The world is Purple today, why not join in?
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