Purple Day is a global grassroots event formed with the intention to increase worldwide awareness of epilepsy, and to dispel common myths and fears of the neurological disorder. Further intentions of this movement are to reduce the social stigmas commonly endured by many individuals afflicted with the condition, and to provide assurance and advocacy to those with the condition that they are not alone in their endurance. The day occurs annually on 26 March.
The concept of Purple Day was initiated by a 9-year-old named Cassidy Megan, and was motivated by her own struggle with epilepsy. The Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia helped to develop Cassidy's idea, and the first Purple Day event was held on 26 March 2008, and is now known as the Purple Day for Epilepsy campaign.
In 2009, the New York-based Anita Kaufmann Foundation and Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia joined to launch Purple Day internationally and increase the involvement of numerous organizations, schools, businesses, politicians and celebrities around the world. On March 26, 2009, over 100,000 students, 95 workplaces and 116 politicians participated in Purple Day. In March 2009, the official USA Purple Day Party launch was organized by the Anita Kaufmann Foundation. Canadian Paul Shaffer of the Late Show with David Letterman attended the official launch at Dylan's Candy Bar in New York City.
In December 2015, Electronics retailer Dick Smith had arranged a major corporate partnership with Epilepsy Action Australia to support Purple Day in Australia with a $50,000 cash sponsorship, prizes and exclusive distribution of Purple Day merchandise. A week prior to Purple Day celebrations in 2016, Dick Smith was placed in receivership. Later, the Retail Food Group provided a $50,000 donation to match Dick Smith's previously promised sponsorship.
During the 2018 edition of Purple Day, the Epilepsy Care Alliance called on the technology sector to push further innovations for the treatment for epilepsy.
The Purple Day is held annually on 26 March. Supporters are encouraged to wear a purple-coloured item of clothing. Lavender (and thus its color purple) is strongly associated with epilepsy because it has even been proven to act as a central nervous system relaxant and anticonvulsant.
The goal of Purple Day is to increase general public awareness, to reduce the social stigma endured by many individuals with the condition, and to empower individuals living with epilepsy to take action in their communities.
Purple Day is celebrated in Australia to fund various epilepsy support organisations including Epilepsy Australia, Epilepsy Queensland, and Epilepsy Foundation.
- Flora Carr (26 March 2018). "People Are Wearing Purple Today for Epilepsy Awareness Day. Here's What That Is". Time.com. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- "Gold, silver, bronze...and now purple! Another inspiring Canadian kicks off Epilepsy Awarenss Month". www.newswire.ca. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
- Nic Canning (29 June 2012). "Purple Day now legally recognized in Canada". Newswire.ca. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- "Dick Smith collapse leaves epilepsy charity high and dry". ABC News. 2016-01-07. Retrieved 2017-07-02.
- Low, Catie (8 January 2016). "Collapse leaves charity in a bind". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 3.
- "Dick Smith enters receivership due to bad sales". ABC News. 2016-01-05. Retrieved 2017-07-02.
- "Charity in limbo gets help". The Age (Melbourne). 19 January 2016. p. 25.
- "Sweet spot for Epilepsy Action Australia". St Marys Star. 17 March 2016.
- "Largest epilepsy training session". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2017-07-02.
- Amelia Heathman (26 March 2018). "Purple Day: Epilepsy alliance urge tech investments to improve patient care". Standard.co.uk. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Ali Venosa (25 March 2016). "Epilepsy Awareness Day: 4 Things You Didn't Know About The Neurological Disorder". Medicaldaily.com. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- "Three cheers for purple!". Canada Newswire. 23 March 2011.
Cited works and further reading
- Grant, Colin (2016). A Smell of Burning: The Story of Epilepsy. London: Boxtree Books. ISBN 978-0-224-10182-0.