Today is a very special day — it’s National Epilepsy Awareness Day. You can help celebrate it by wearing the color purple. According to the Epilepsy Foundation (epilepsyfoundation.org), epilepsy, also known as seizure disorder, is “a medical condition that produces seizures. A seizure happens when a brief, strong surge of electrical activity affects part or all of the brain. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy.”
Most of us have met someone who has had a seizure or epilepsy. In fact, it’s estimated that 1 in 10 adults will have one during their lifetime. It can happen to any of us, so there’s no need to judge someone affected by epilepsy or seizures. Many accomplished and famous people have been affected by epilepsy, including:
Prince (Or the artist formerly known as Prince not the spaghetti)
Florence Joyner Griffith (Flo-Jo) — She didn’t let that slow her down.
In addition, many members of our imperfect community on Facebook have been impacted by epilepsy. We’ve shared their comments below. All agree that living with epilepsy is not easy:
Kelly: “My wonderful and amazing son has epilepsy…along with many of his classmates. Wearing purple today in their honor! He has a seizure that lasts from 10 – 45 seconds every day and once a month, always around full moon time, he suffers a tonic clonic (grand mal) seizure that requires valium to stop it. It robs him of at least 2 days. Its heartbreaking. He’s on 4 medications that he takes twice daily. Certainly not a way for an 8 year old to live, especially given all the other things he has going on!….Happy Purple Day!!!!
Linda: “My 10-yr old son, a wonderful boy, is back to school this week after missing a week due to seizures.”
Dawna: “My father had epilepsy from a a plane crash in the military.”
Melissa: “My son had epilepsy when he was a toddler. He has been seizure free for several years.”
Carolyn: “There are different kinds of epilepsy and my daughter and husband both suffer from petit mal epilepsy. It is horrible when my husband has a grand mal (I found it out when my older daughter was 3 days old and he had has first EEG at my insistence). God bless everyone with epilepsy, it is a rough life. Did you know that it is commonly diagnosed with autism?? Anywhere from 30-80% of autistic children (my daughter is PDD NOS) may have epilepsy!! I didn’t realize it was epilepsy awareness day so thanks for reminding me!!”
Margaret: “My Emma is down to one medication 2x per day and now on the honor roll but still is way behind in school. She has suffered since birth with Jacksonian seizures and is now 12!!!! Looking for a CURE and wearing purple proudly!!!”
Amy: “My older sister (47) was diagnosed with epilepsy at around age 3. She has both petit malls and grand malls. The grand malls have been in remission for quite some time but there is always a chance she will have one again. She has to wear dark glasses even while inside as her eyes are sensitive to the light and the light can trigger the petit malls. In addition to her epilepsy she has some learning disabilities. She has been married for over twenty years and has an 18 year old son with severe autism. I’m not sure she is aware today is epilepsy awareness day so I will make sure to let her know…plus wear some purple if I can find some.”
Julie: “Rock’n my purple. I have had Epilepsy since I was a toddler. I was blessed with parents who refused to let it slow me down and fought with the school who wanted to remove me because the daily seizures disrupted class. Yep, I learned to fight with schools from the best!”
Heather: “I am wearing purple in honor of my twin sis who has suffered from petit mal seizures since high school. While hers are contained well with meds, over the years she has had breakthrough episodes; praying for a cure!
about an hour ago.”
To learn more about epilepsy, visit Epilepsy Foundation.
Thank you all for taking a few moments to learn about epilepsy. Now what are you waiting for? Grab your purple pants!