Lil' Wayne, an Olympic athlete and the colour purple

It's Epilepsy Awareness Day

On Thursday 26th March we will be celebrating “Purple Day”, showing our support for people who have epilepsy, and raising awareness of the condition and how to respond to people who have it.

Ellie Wilmshurst, a representative from Epilepsy Action, the national epilepsy charity and campaigning group founded in 1950, will be joining us, running an information stall in the café bar and helping us with other activities.

What is Purple Day?

Purple Day is an international grass-roots movement that began in 2008, encouraging people to wear purple clothes to show their support for people who have epilepsy and raise awareness.

Purple is also associated with the wider disability movement, with the colour being prominent in the branding of disability rights group Broken of Britain, and people like former Olympic athlete, TV presenter and parliamentarian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, apparently showing her solidarity with the movement by wearing a purple jacket during the House of Lords welfare reform debates.  The phrase “the purple pound” has come to mean the spending power of disabled people, estimated in the UK to be worth in excess of £80 billion each year.
 
Some epilepsy facts:

  • Approximately 1 in 100 people has epilepsy.

  • Some, but not all, people with epilepsy have seizures (“fits”).

  • We all have electrical impulses in our brains - a seizure happens when there is a sudden burst of electricity in the brain.

  • Seizures usually stop after a few seconds or minutes.

  • There are many different types of seizure: some people may lose consciousness and fall over; others experience unusual sensations or feelings.

  • Some people have several seizures each day. Some people have them only very occasionally.  Some people stop having seizures altogether.

  • Most people with epilepsy take daily medication to control their seizures.

  • Epilepsy can affect anyone at any age and from any background.

  • Musicians who have epilepsy include Neil Young, Adam Horovitz (Beastie Boys), Mike Skinner (The Streets), Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac/Nine Inch Nails) and Lil Wayne.

  • Radio 1 DJ Edith Bowman had childhood epilepsy.

Have a go at the “myth-busting” quiz and be prepared for the day!

There are a couple of films on YouTube in which Christina and Vanessa, who have epilepsy talk about their experiences, which are very informative.
 
And here's another useful video for some safety and first aid pointers.
 
So link with us on Twitter and find @epilepsyaction and @EqualityinHE, and share your stories, support, and photos of your purple outfits! Even our staff will be wearing purple t-shirts and/or an Epilepsy Action ones!
 
For anyone who can and wants even MORE purple in their life, you can also add a “Twibbon” to Facebook and Twitter profile pics...

 

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Purple Day is an international grass-roots movement that began in 2008, encouraging people to wear purple clothes to show their support for people who have epilepsy and raise awareness.

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