Purple Out

My 12-year-old daughter Allie was asked by her creative writing teacher to imagine that she could plan a week of dress-up days at school (a la red ribbon week) to bring awareness to any cause.  She wrote about Epilepsy Awareness for her sister.  The following is exerted from her school blog:

If I was able to choose a dress up week in honor of/to raise awareness to, I would choose Epilepsy awareness. I think that this issue needs social attention because, not many people know about it and there is still no cure or any "miracle medicine"  that can cure seizures or that can control all types. Epilepsy is an incurable neurological condition in which the patients of it suffer symptoms such as, seizures of many kinds and severe developmental delays. Epilepsy needs support, and I think an awareness week would be a great idea.

Here are the awareness days that I would choose:

Monday: Purple Out.
The color of epilepsy and/or epilepsy awareness is purple, so it makes sense to start off the week by showing your awareness by wearing all purple clothes.

Tuesday: Kick Epilepsy out of town.
Wear your best western wear and boots to help kick epilepsy out of town. Another idea that I had for this day was to set up a kick boxing bag in the cafeteria and having students pay a dollar to kick it, all proceeds from this will go to the epilepsy research fund.

Wednesday: Catch some zzz's
Patients diagnosed with epilepsy often have a very difficult time sleeping or very interrupted sleep patterns, due to the seizures they may have. The day "catch some zzz's" would be a day where all of the kids come to school in PJ's.

Thursday: Smile/yellow day
Epilepsy can often be seen as a negative experience that is not pleasant and can often make the patients family and friends sad and feel down. Yellow is a positive color so everyone will be wearing yellow to spread positivity as well as making it important to be smiling throughout the day.

Friday: Claws out against Epilepsy
 Predatory animals, such as the tiger, often severely hurt or kill the prey that they are chasing. So we would have a day to dress as a tiger or in stripes to go "claws out against epilepsy."
November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, and I couldn't think of better words than hers talk about it.  I will add a few facts that you may not know.  1 in 20 children are affected by epilepsy, which is a spectrum of neurological disorders with over 40 types and syndromes.  For 30% of people living with epilepsy, there is no adequate treatment to control seizures.  My daughter Shelby fits into this category.  There are more people with epilepsy than cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and parkinson's disease combined.  And last, every hour 5 people die of epilepsy related causes.  The mortality rate for Dravet syndrome alone (my daughter's condition) is up to 20%.  (Info taken from the Epilepsy Foundation and Dravet Syndrome Foundation.)

I want to wrap this up with one question:  If you saw someone having a seizure, would you know what to do?  If you aren't sure, click here for the Epilepsy Foundation's official guidelines for seizure first aid.  Epilepsy awareness saves lives.