The city of Riverside held an Epilepsy Day Event Feb. 13 in which participants wore purple, took a selfie and used #epilepsyday to raise awareness of epilepsy.
Currently, 3 million Americans and 65 million people worldwide are living with the neurological disorder.
Alisha Fleeman, freshman pre-nursing major, has a sister who has epilepsy.
“Since my sister is a severe case, it definitely affects everyday life,” Fleeman said. “She takes up to eight pills every morning and night, so in total, 16 a day. She also has a machine in her chest and in her brain to help control the number of seizures she has in a day.
To compare, she used to have 50 seizures every four hours and now she has– from what we can see–only around one a day. World Epilepsy Day means a lot to me. It means awareness and respect in a way for those who deal with this awful disorder.”
Unfortunately, epilepsy is a disorder that is not known by many. Events like these raise more awareness for a community and show support for those who are living with the disorder.
Meghan Kennedy, entrepreneur and research professional in Riverside, suffers from the disorder and helped organize Riverside’s International Epilepsy Day.
In a blog post, Kennedy described her first experience of a seizure, which occurred while she was talking to a friend on the phone, and how she has learned to best prevent her seizures.
“Over the years, I’ve learned my seizure triggers. One of them is simply being too tired and not getting enough rest. Because of this, when I need it and I can, I rest. I might not always be sleeping, but relaxing even for 10-20 minutes can do a world of good,” Kennedy said.
It is not only important to know the triggers of epilepsy but how to cope with them while living with the disorder.
“It’s definitely important for people to be more aware of epilepsy, just in the way to help and the seriousness of it. Also, people should know that it is not a disorder to joke about,” said Fleeman.
Though Riverside celebrated on Feb. 13, Epilepsy Awareness Day is on March 26 , also known internationally as “Purple Day.”