Monday 1 April 2019


Holly says:
Epilepsy awareness is hugely important to me; I was diagnosed with absence seizures at the age of twelve. Because not many people know what absence seizures are, it makes it all the more difficult to explain to friends - and it can frighten them. I want people to know there’s more than one type of epilepsy, there’s more than twenty, even. My seizures were where I would lose consciousness for five to ten seconds, but I’d stay standing up, just staring into space. A lot of my friends didn’t even notice! Unless I’m having a cluster of lots at once, they can be quite difficult to spot. For me, it just feels like I’ve fast forwarded a bit on a TV show and am trying to work out what happened. 

When people don’t always understand all types of epilepsy, it can feel quite isolating, and having to explain all the time, although I was happy to do it, sometimes made me feel a bit frustrated. No one understood. 

Purple Day is a national day to raise awareness of epilepsy. Everything goes purple on the 26th of March, to get the message out there of what epilepsy is. It’s also a great way to raise funds for epilepsy charities such as Epilepsy Action, who sent me an information pack explaining my diagnosis when I was twelve. I was controlled for a number of years on one medication, but I had to start taking other meds for mental health problems and they interacted and I’ve struggled to gain control ever since. Today I’ve been absence seizure free for six months! 

This year, I decided to dye my hair for Purple Day - to raise awareness,  as well as a bit of money! I set a target of raising £50, but with some wonderful support from friends and family, they sponsored me for over £500! I now have bright purple hair and my friends from college also all dressed up on the day in purple, and raised a further £30, they’re amazing! They were so supportive, I think because they’ve seen the effect that changing my epilepsy meds has had on me over the last six months. I may have been seizure free, but the withdrawal symptoms and side effects have caused real problems. So it meant a lot when they all supported me by dressing up! 

One in every hundred people has epilepsy, so chances are you will know someone who does. Read up on it and see what you can do to support them - that bit of knowledge will mean the world!

Cathy says:
This is a subject close to my heart, as my daughter had the same diagnosis as Hollie when she was a young teen, and took time to come to terms with it. I love Hollie's can-do attitude - and her awesome purple hair! Have YOU ever raised money to help a cause you really believe in? COMMENT BELOW to have your say! 

1 comment:

  1. The purple pics project I did in November a few years ago was the biggest project I did for Epilepsy Awareness. Right now I'm trying to get an official purple day to happen in school. Hopefully it'll happen after Easter break.



Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...