Member for Baulkham Hills, David Elliott, today called on the community to work together to increase awareness of epilepsy on Purple Day, 26 March.
Mr Elliott said that epilepsy is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood within the community.
“An estimated 50 million people across the globe are currently living with epilepsy. In Australia alone, close to half a million people will be affected by the condition at some point during their lifetime.
“Medical treatment is improving all the time and, with the right support, we can work towards ensuring that all people with epilepsy can lead full and active lives without needing to worry about their condition.” Mr Elliott said.
“I was pleased to be able to promote Purple Day in a Private Members Statement in Parliament last week and I am looking forward to seeing our community turn purple on 26 March.
“After all, epilepsy is just proof of having a brain.” Mr Elliott said.
Mr Elliott’s remarks were supported by Epilepsy Action Australia Chief Executive Officer, Carol Ireland, who said that epilepsy was far more common than most people believed.
“Surprisingly, there are more people living with epilepsy than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease combined,” Ms Ireland said.
“Sadly however, due to a social stigma and misconceptions associated with epilepsy, many people do not disclose their condition. This of course has lead to low community awareness about epilepsy.
“Purple Day is about changing this and helping Australia to understand epilepsy.”
Purple Day was founded in 2008, by nine-year-old Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, Canada. Motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy, Cassidy started Purple Day in an effort to get people talking about the condition and inform those with seizures that they are not alone. She named the day Purple Day after the internationally recognised colour for epilepsy, lavender.
For more information, or to support Epilepsy Action Australia, call 1300 37 45 37 or visit www.epilepsy.org.au