Turning PURPLE for Purple Day

Calm evening over the baltic ocean with ripples on the surfaceThe sunrise may not be purple tomorrow, but all over the world, people will be wearing purple, turning the world purple to remember and support those with epilepsy in all its forms and variants.

Purple Day got its start in 2008 when a then nine-year-old girl in Nova Scotia, Cassidy Megan, wanted to do something to show people with epilepsy that they are not alone. It has grown each year, and in Canada March 26 is even officially proclaimed Purple Day, since the passage of the Purple Day Act.

I used to think that there were just two types of epilepsy, Grand Mal and Petit Mal. I have learned differently. There are many, many variants of this disease, and it is not always easy to pinpoint just what is causing the seizures, nor how to get them under control. Nor are seizures all alike. My understanding of this condition has grown as I have watched the journey of my online friend Bethany, her husband, her now-six-year-old son Renn (who was diagnosed with Complex Partial Epilepsy one year ago, on March 23, 2012) and his little brother. You can follow their journey at Bethany’s blog, The Brain of a Jedi.

If you want to show your support for kids like Cassidy, who started Purple Day, and Renn, who is dealing with some awfully scary stuff in an incredibly brave manner, you can wear purple tomorrow — and tell people why you’re doing so. You can educate yourself about the condition. And since I didn’t find a lot of current books for kids on the topic, if you’re a writer, maybe you can write a book that will help kids like these feel a little less alone.

Here’s to a world of purple people tomorrow!

8 thoughts on “Turning PURPLE for Purple Day”

  1. Thanks for sharing these resources, Beth. I was wondering if Pat had come up with a picture book on epilepsy. I know I have never seen one.

    1. There were a few books that I found in my online search, but I’d definitely want to look more closely at them before recommending them. I think there’s a real need for the sort of books Pat is finding for other challenges to be written about kids dealing with epilepsy.

  2. There are so many things about epilepsy that I am ignorant of. Reading about Renn’s situation was truly an eye-opener. I love the color purple and feel a bit silly that I’m behind as I wore my purple shirt yesterday. I’ll try to find something purple to wear today as well 🙂

  3. Great reminder, Beth. Ugh. I need to go change my shirt. It is unfortunate that the Empire State Building is not participating. What’s up with them?? 🙁

  4. Great post Beth. I had hoped to find a book on the subject, but the ones I’ve found thus far are for parents and the few for kids are medical and text book boring. So, I really liked your encouraging authors to look at the subject. (I planned on turning my blog purple today, but have had the flu and am not getting things done as I hoped.)

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