A Purple Light

Our city glowed purple this past week thanks to a national epilepsy awareness campaign. A long time friend and member of my writing group, was instrumental in bringing an Epilepsy and Neurosurgery Care unit to our city.  Thanks, Pat. With my own family directly affected by epilepsy I’m well aware of the need for epilepsy treatment facilities. 

It was my family connection to epilepsy that prompted my research into the condition and I used what I learned to write Tainted Amber. In that novel I highlighted the Nazi intolerance to epilepsy and their attempts to sterilize or even murder people with the condition.

What is epilepsy? Surging electrical brain activity that leads to seizures or convulsions.  (Think of an electrical thunder storm).  Modern medicine can monitor electrical surges through EEG. Locating the electrical misfirings can lead to proper medication to control these 'storms'.

CC  https://www.flickr.com/photos/tim_uk/8135755109/

How many Canadians are affected by it? About 300,000 (1% of the population) or more than 3 million people worldwide.

Famous people with the condition include: Albert Einstein, Socrates, Charles Dickens and Elton John. 

Thankfully, modern science has found medication that can control unwanted and unexpected seizures. There is no need to sterilize or euthanize people diagnosed with the condition. And with more research, more awareness, more purple light campaigns … we can now support and not stigmatize this seizure disorder. 

Thanks to advocates like my friend, Pat, our city is taking positive steps in that direction. Pat, you look great in purple!

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