Created in 2008, it was founded by Cassidy Megan, a young girl from Canada with the condition who sought to get people talking about epilepsy. Not only are people from around the world encouraged to get involved to help raise funds, but the day also works to raise awareness and assure people with epilepsy that they are not alone.
It is now believed by some researchers that the chance of developing epilepsy is probably always genetic to some extent, with those who start having seizures having always had some level of genetic likelihood to do so. Even if seizures start after a brain injury or other structural change, this may be due to both the structural change and the person’s genetic tendency to have a seizure.
In the UK, 600,000 or 1 in every 103 people has epilepsy.
Epilepsy is most commonly diagnosed in people under 20 and people over 65.
Around 5 in every 100 will have an epileptic seizure at some time in their life.
Every day in the UK, 87 people are diagnosed with epilepsy.
Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological disorder worldwide.
There are 40 different types of seizure, and one person alone can have more than one type. Not all seizures involve jerking or shaking movements, known as convulsions, with some people affected by seeming vacant, wandering around or being confused instead. Despite this, tonic-clonic seizures are perhaps the most recognised type of seizure, categorised by their dramatic convulsions.
During these, the person goes stiff, loses consciousness, falls to the floor and begins to jolt. They may look a little blue around their mouth from irregular breathing. Tonic-clonic seizures last a few minutes.
During Purple Day, charities and organisations run events across the globe to help raise awareness and vital funds. The money raised goes towards research into the condition, as well as support for those diagnosed through help lines, support groups and advice resources.
To help connect those celebrating Purple Day and coordinate these events, The Anita Kaufmann Foundation set up the Purple Day Every Day page; a website dedicated to the awareness day. This year, the foundation is joining forces with Disney’s Epcot in Florida to bring those with the condition together and turn the Spaceship Earth Purple in recognition of Purple Day events worldwide.