March 26th was International Purple Day® for Epilepsy Awareness. This year, uptake for Purple Day® exceeded expectations in British Columbia.
Every year on Purple Day®, people in countries all over the world wear purple and participate in events and activities dedicated to raising epilepsy awareness in their communities. Monumental buildings and iconic landmarks worldwide light up purple in support of epilepsy awareness.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), neurological diseases, including epilepsy, are the second leading cause of death, and the number one leading cause of disability, worldwide.
Epilepsy affects approximately 1% of the population. There are over 65 million people around the world and
over 380,000 Canadians living with epilepsy.
There are over 5 million people living in British Columbia and 1% of that population has epilepsy, which equates to 50,000 people living with epilepsy in the province.
The purpose of Purple Day® is to show people living with epilepsy in every community around the world that they are not alone and that they matter.
This year in British Columbia, the following municipal and provincial governments, organizations, and corporations lit up purple:
Bosa Properties and BlueSky Properties cranes at University District (Surrey)
Vancouver City Hall (Vancouver)
BC Place (Vancouver)
Canada Place (Vancouver)
Science World (Vancouver)
Telus Garden (Vancouver)
The Bloedel Conservatory (Vancouver)
The Vancouver Convention Centre and Olympic Cauldron (Vancouver)
The BC Legislature (Victoria)
Port Coquitlam City Hall (Port Coquitlam)
Maple Ridge City Hall (Maple Ridge)
Fitzsimmons Creek Bridge (Whistler)
Kim Davidson, founder of the international I AM A VOICE for Epilepsy Awareness stated, “Our population has really suffered during the COVID-19 Pandemic, with isolation, increased seizure activity, longer than usual waitlists, and depression and anxiety. This Purple Day®, people living with epilepsy and their loved ones felt the embrace and love of community when they venture online to see all of the international Purple Day® support, and when they ventured out to see their communities lit up in purple. It is a timely event that is going to visually demonstrate how much the public has embraced epilepsy (an invisible disease) to raise awareness.”