To say that March was a busy and exciting month is an understatement. We kicked off our celebrations with a purple pancake breakfast enjoyed by students, first responders, and politicians; the month continued with exciting basketball tournaments, bunny hops, group gatherings and opportunities to educate so many about the catastrophic effects of Epilepsy and the devastating impact it can have on families.
Epilepsy Awareness Month gives us an opportunity to share so many stories with people who generally want to help. These are community leaders, shop keepers, and bus drivers who have heard about 'Purple Day', but just don't quite know what it is about. We tell them about Aydin who has up to 100 seizures a day, or Julian and his mother who are frantically trying to find mediation because it is in short supply and there is no definite date on when it will be available, or how after many years of living with seizures and having to undergo successful brain surgery, a young boy can be left making slow progress at school – when we share those kinds of stories, people stand up and pay attention. People are always surprised to learn about how much we are able to do with such limited resources.
It was a month to showcase so many and to shine the biggest light on Epilepsy Durham Region, but more importantly, we talked, talked, and talked more about all of you; we shared stories both very sad, and uplifting. There is a true, strong, and fierce momentum moving in our community. The real challenge for us, and all of us living with or caring for someone with Epilepsy, is to continue to talk. But we assure you that there is a reaffirming sense that we are not alone.
We are featuring our last video in our series – The Douglas family were so brave to share their story about David who lost his life to a seizure many years ago and we know that the pain is always there. We would also like to share the Doherty family's story; our hearts go out to the Doherty family who lost their beloved daughter in January to SUDEP. These families know only too well how Epilepsy can impact a family. I encourage everyone who reads this blog to help us celebrate every day, learn what you can about Epilepsy, and talk about how it impacts you and your family. Epilepsy is not about just one month – feel the change, it's on it way... because of you and so many living in our community.
- Dianne McKenzie