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  • Writer's pictureLeah Taylor Roy

Purple Day – Increasing Epilepsy Awareness Day

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

March 26th marks Purple Day, which is dedicated to increasing worldwide awareness of epilepsy and to dispel common myths and fears of this neurological disorder. It also intends to reduce the social stigmas commonly experienced by individuals affected with the condition, to provide assurance and advocacy to those living with epilepsy, and to encourage individuals living with the condition to take action in their communities to achieve these goals.

This day was founded by Cassidy Megan, a nine-year-old Canadian from Nova Scotia who was motivated by her own struggle with epilepsy. In 2012, former Liberal Member of Parliament Geoff Regan’s Private Member's Bill C-278 became The Purple Day Act, officially recognized March 26th as the date to raise awareness epilepsy.

Epilepsy is caused by electrical disturbances in the brain resulting in seizures of various types. It can be a scary condition to people who do not understand the cause of seizures, which has led to many unnecessary assumptions and even laws about the disease and the capabilities of those who live with it. It’s the fourth most common neurological disorder after migraines, strokes, and Alzheimer’s. Approximately 1 in 100 people have epilepsy. Over 300,000 Canadians have epilepsy, about 42, 000 are children or youth.

Lavender is the international color for epilepsy and is also a color that symbolizes solitude. Members are encouraged to wear a purple-coloured item of clothing to show their support for people living with epilepsy.

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