This Friday people with violet shoes and shirts, plum pants and maybe even purple hair will be making their mark. Wearing purple on Friday demonstrates support for epilepsy sufferers, showing them that they are not alone. March 26 is Purple Day, the annual Epilepsy awareness day started in Nova Scotia in 2008 by then nine-year-old Cassidy Megan. In only two years Purple Day has gone international, with Purple Day's Facebook event boasting 1,500 attendees.
Purple Day has been grasped by many organizations, including the Epilepsy Association of Calgary. According to their website, the Epilepsy Association's mission is "to support independence, quality of life and community participation for those with and affected by epilepsy."
The charitable organization aims to help communities, individuals and families with epilepsy-related needs, and to raise awareness of the neurological disorder. The Alberta-based association achieves these goals through support and counseling programs, as well as speaking at schools.
"There are about 30 different types of seizures and this leads to many types of epilepsy," faculty of Social Work practicum student Chantal Day explains. "Sixty per cent of seizure causes are unknown, and it affects one in 50 people in Canada."
Day works with the association as part of her Bachelor's degree. The association has hosted Purple Day events the past three years. This year's events include a booth at Bankers Hall from 10 to two Â-- selling purple buttons, bracelets and cookies -- and working with some Calgary schools.
The Epilepsy Association also features a volunteer program. Anyone interested is encouraged to visit epilepsycalgary.com