By Deron Hamel
Epilepsy Ontario will be acknowledging Purple Day by distributing purple ribbons to MPPs on March 24 and attending a session at Queen’s Park, where representatives from the Liberal, NDP and Progressive Conservative parties will read member statements focused on epilepsy awareness.
2014 Purple Day Website poster Purple Day is honoured annually by Epilepsy Ontario and the community-based epilepsy support agencies across the province. Many local Purple Day events are taking place throughout the province to create awareness, decrease stigma and support people living with epilepsy.
Recognized every March 26, Purple Day was launched in 2008 by Cassidy Megan, a then-nine-year-old Nova Scotia girl who was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was seven. Cassidy had one goal for Purple Day: for people to come together globally to learn about epilepsy to reduce its stigma.
It is estimated that one in every 100 Ontarians is living with epilepsy. Given epilepsy’s prevalence, it is important for Ontarians to understand what epilepsy is and how to support those living with the condition, says Epilepsy Ontario executive director Paul Raymond.
“Purple Day is an excellent opportunity for people to not only show their support for friends or loved ones who are living with epilepsy by wearing purple, but also to take time to learn about epilepsy, how it impacts people, and what some of the common myths and misconceptions people have about the condition are,” Raymond says.
Purple Day received Royal Assent on June 28, 2012. Since it began eight years ago, an increasing number of people, businesses and organizations have been using March 26 as a day to promote epilepsy awareness by sharing information, raising awareness and, of course, wearing purple.
“Purple Day is an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide,” the Purple Day website states.
“On March 26, annually, people in countries around the world are invited to wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy awareness. Last year, people in dozens of countries on all continents, including Antarctica, participated in Purple Day.”
Click here to learn more about Purple Day.
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