In case you’re unsure as to what purple day is-Purple Day is celebrated on the 26th of March every year, and it works with people in countries around the world to encourage people to wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy awareness. Purple day was founded by Cassidy Megan, in 2008. Let’s work together to get people talking about epilepsy and rid the myths of the condition!
Epilepsy is often referred to as a ‘hidden condition’. This is because, unless someone sees you having a seizure, they often have no idea that you have epilepsy. This often means that some people have very little understanding of what epilepsy really is, or that there are over 40 different types of epilepsy and types of seizure.
Every year, 1 in 1000 people who have uncontrolled seizures dies from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, known as SUDEP or Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy. By taking part in raising awareness of this, you can help people with epilepsy and their loved ones better understand SUDEP and potentially take action to reduce the risk of harm.
What can you do to reduce the risk of SUDEP?
- You should take your medication as prescribed
- Get enough sleep
- Limit alcohol
- Inform your neurologist or nurse of any seizures
How to Participate
On Purple Day in the past, I have taken part in numerous sponsored events to inform more people of my condition that also affects thousands of people and families around the world. If I have not taken part in an event, I still wear purple which is the international colour for Epilepsy. I’ve also shared photos on social media with a hashtag that people will recognize.
Here are some simple ideas that you can do and that you can encourage your friends and families to do this purple day!
Why not choose a charity that supports Epilepsy awareness by setting up a text donation? This is simple to do, you can do this on Justgiving or if you’re in the US, you can set up a Gofundme. On these websites you can set up a text donation, share on social media and people can simply text the charity number with their chosen donation. Or, if people prefer, they can donate online. It’s easy as that!
Maybe you’d like to take part in fundraising events in your area, or even set up your own! I support Young Epilepsy, and although they’re based 3 hours from my home, they have helped me a lot for a good few years and it’s the least I could do to thank them and help other young people and families going through what I have been through.
Young Epilepsy encourage supports to:
Talk about the condition and raises awareness to their friends, families, colleagues, teachers and even pet cats!
For Purple Days to take place up and down the country – they support the idea for people to bake purple cakes, having purple parties or even taking part in thrilling events such as the Skydive!
Why not give baking a go at your house, invite your neighbours and friends round and ask for a donation for each cake you have made. My friend did this and raised hundreds for Epilepsy Action! You can find some tasty recipes online and fill tummies as well as raising funds!
Maybe baking isn’t your thing? You could do a sponsored bike ride which I did in 2013, a sponsored swim, or even take part in a marathon! Whatever you choose to do, your chosen charity will support you and send you fundraising packs to help you out. Young Epilepsy holds an annual Purple Walk in Surrey where hundreds take part and together we raise thousands. Whatever amount you raise, large or small, you will make a difference.
Dress Down Day
One gentleman told me he holds a dress down purple day in his office, and each employee pays £1 to wear purple for work. Another lady told me her work hold raffles and other games on purple day such as guess the name of the purple bear, how many sweets are in a jar and bingo.
Many people also said that they dye their hair purple! Very bold!
Post a Selfie
One easy thing you can do to raise awareness and even some money is taking a Purple Selfie! Take a photo of you or even your pet wearing purple and hash tag it online for everyone to see.
Download and print off a charity or your own awareness-raising poster. Then you can simply find somewhere to put it for all to see. You can display it in your bedroom window or on your noticeboard at work. I have previously printed by own poster and pinned it in the Neurology department at my hospital where I am treated.
Whatever you choose to do this Purple Day, I would love to hear from you-especially if you have found my advice useful. What will you do on March 26 to raise funds and awareness on Purple Day?
Sometimes it’s the smallest things that end up making the biggest difference. Remember you are not alone. No matter what happens, we will make it through this together.
25 yr old monthly columnist on Living Well with Epilepsy. Full time worker of NHS England.
Emily’s Perspective is a snapshot of what life is like living with Epilepsy. I was diagnosed with Epilepsy at the age of 10.
Based in UK.