Purple Day: A grassroots communications success

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain characterized by seizure and tremor episodes. It affects people of all ages – in every country of the world.

Epilepsy is close to the heart at TogoRun. A few of our trailblazers have family members living with epilepsy and see first-hand how the disorder impacts everyday life. Despite affecting approximately 65 million people around the world, there is still much unknown about epilepsy and there is no cure. In fact, one-third of people with epilepsy live with uncontrollable seizures because there is no available treatment that works for them. Those whose seizures are controlled, mainly by medication may still suffer from related conditions, including:

•   ‘Not doing well’ at home, school, work, or with friends;
•   Cognitive or learning problems that require special help or accommodations;
•   Symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other changes in mood or behavior;
•   Problems sleeping;
•   Unexplained injuries, falls or other illnesses; and even
•   Risk of death.

Why Purple Day?

“Purple Day,” an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy, takes place each year on March 26th. This past Wednesday, many of us at TogoRun wore purple to show our support. Purple Day was created in 2008 to help educate others about epilepsy. It was started by a true trailblazer: an eight-year old Canadian girl named Cassidy Megan who was motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy. Cassidy’s goal for Purple Day is to encourage people to talk about epilepsy in an effort to dismiss myths and inform those with seizures that they are not alone. By simply being unafraid to tell her story, she has rallied people from all over the world to proudly talk about epilepsy and call for more work to be done to find a cure.

Purple Day shows that you do not need a huge budget or corporate PR machine to make an impact, but rather demonstrates how effective communications can be born out of passion and a compelling story. Please join us and millions of others in support of increasing awareness about epilepsy.

Epilepsy Facts

  • 65 MILLION: Number of people around the world who have epilepsy.
  • OVER 2 MILLION: Number of people in the United States who have epilepsy.
  • 1 IN 26 people in the United States will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime.
  • BETWEEN 4 AND 10 OUT OF 1,000: Number of people on earth who live with active seizures at any one time.
  • 150,000: Number of new cases of epilepsy in the United States each year
  • ONE-THIRD: Number of people with epilepsy who live with uncontrollable seizures because no available treatment works for them.
  • 6 OUT OF 10: Number of people with epilepsy where the cause is unknown.