Purple Day is an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide. On March 26th annually, people in countries around the world are invited to wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy awareness.
Canadian school girl Cassidy Megan created the idea of Purple Day in 2008, motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy. Cassidy’s goal is to get people talking about epilepsy in an effort to dispel myths and inform those with seizures that they are not alone. The Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia came on board in 2008 to help develop Cassidy’s idea which is now known as the Purple Day for epilepsy campaign.
Epilepsy is the tendency to have recurrent seizures. It is the same thing as a seizure disorder. A single seizure does not constitute epilepsy which is a disorder (not a disease) of the central nervous system, specifically the brain. A seizure occurs when the normal electrical balance in the brain is lost. The brain’s nerve cells misfire: they either fire when they shouldn’t or don’t fire when they should. The result is a sudden, brief, uncontrolled burst of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Seizures are the physical effects of such unusual bursts of electrical energy in the brain.
- 50 million people have epilepsy world wide
- It is estimated that 1 in 100 people have epilepsy
- In 50% of cases the cause is unknown
- Approximately 0.6% of the Canadian population has epilepsy
- Each day in Canada, an average of 42 people learn that they have epilepsy
For more information on Purple Day and Epilepsy, visit www.purpleday.org.