Today, March 26, is Global Epilepsy Awareness Day (or Purple Day), and we here at Melamed Riley are dressed appropriately to support the Cleveland Epilepsy Association. The Epilepsy Association is a not-for-profit organization that assists children, adults and families who are struggling to deal with the difficult challenges epilepsy presents. For more than 40 years, they have been offering a range of services in an 11-county area of Northeastern Ohio.
More than 3 million Americans have some form of epilepsy and, historically, epilepsy has been neglected, feared and misunderstood. A veil of secrecy surrounding the disease has resulted in myths, superstitions and a general lack of knowledge. This has hindered scientific progress toward finding answers to one of the oldest-known and most prevalent neurological diseases, leaving treatment and research efforts way behind other disorders. Epilepsy affects more people than Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy combined, yet of the major chronic medical conditions, it’s among the least funded. For many with the disease, seizures cannot be controlled with medications and other treatment options. Individuals with epilepsy are at risk of premature death as well as mental illness. This is why generating awareness through events like Purple Day is so vital.
Purple Day was conceived by Cassidy Megan, a young girl from Nova Scotia, Canada in 2008 when she was only 9 years old. Purple Day is now a global event celebrated in 130 countries and on every continent in the world. The name Purple Day was chosen for the international color of epilepsy, lavender. The Lavender Flower is associated with solitude, which is representative of the feelings of isolation many people affected by epilepsy and seizure disorders often feel. The Purple Day goal is for people with epilepsy everywhere to know they are not alone and to increase public awareness of epilepsy. Visit the official Purple Day website for more information and free resources.
Below are some ways you can still get involved:
• If you are wearing purple, share your photos with the Epilepsy Association on Twitter, and be sure to include the hash tag #PurpleDay, and on Facebook.
• Share information about Purple Day by posting updates to your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts.
• Tweet this message or change your Facebook status to read: “On March 26, I’m wearing PURPLE to generate EPILEPSY AWARENESS. Help spread the word!”
• Join the Epilepsy Association at their first ever Purple Day Party fundraiser. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet others from the Cleveland area who are raising awareness of epilepsy.
• Visit the Epilepsy Association website or blog for more information and ways to help raise awareness.
If you can’t do anything else for Purple Day, please share the following tweet: Today is Purple Day, let’s all work to fight the stigma and increase epilepsy awareness. [Click to Tweet]