Time to get dressed in your most stunning purple outfit! The Epilepsy Association of Western New York (EAWNY) is holding their major fundraiser of the year on March 24 from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. at Banchetti’s Banquet Hall (550 North French Road, Amherst). The 3rd Annual Wear Purple Fundraiser helps promote awareness of epilepsy across Western New York, as well as the many occupational, educational and family support services that are available through the association. Lavender is the internationally recognized color for epilepsy.
WGRZ-TV Meteorologist Andy Parker will emcee the event, which includes a buffet dinner, open bar, silent auction and raffle. Tickets are $40 each. Tables of 10 are $375. For tickets, call the EAWNY at 716-883-5396 or visit www.epilepsywny.org. Tickets also will be sold at the door.
“Each year to mark Wear Purple Day—March 26—people in countries around the world are encouraged to wear purple and hold events in support of epilepsy awareness,” said Event Chair Carrie Silliman. “Wear Purple Day began as a grassroots effort founded in 2008 by nine-year-old Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, Canada, with the help of the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia. Motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy, Cassidy started the day in an effort to tell others about the disorder and inform those with seizures that they are not alone,” said Silliman, EAWNY Board Vice Chair and a nurse practitioner at Erie County Medical Center Corporation.
Epilepsy is not a disease, but a sign or symptom of one of the most common group of neurological disorders. It affects 3 million people in the United States and more than 50 million people worldwide.
“That’s more people than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease combined,” said EAWNY Executive Director Barbara Brossard, a certified rehabilitation counselor and licensed mental health councelor. “Yet, many people living with epilepsy still face barriers to employment and in their family life due to a lack of awareness about the disorder. EAWNY’s mission is to eliminate stigma, increase awareness about the condition and provide services that help people with epilepsy improve their quality of life, including finding a job, coordinating their medical services and educating the whole family,” said Brossard, who has been with the EAWNY since 1984.
Epilepsy is a group of disorders of the central nervous system, specifically the brain, and is characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. (A person who has two or more recurrent seizures is said to have epilepsy.) It can occur at any age and has many different causes, including head trauma, a brain tumor or stroke, a birth injury, poisoning or infection. However, in about 70 percent of cases, there is no known cause for the seizures.
There also is no known “cure” for epilepsy, but it can be controlled with medication, surgery and diet. Observing and recording seizure activity—including time of day, what took place before the seizure began, changes in breathing and length of seizure—are essential in diagnosing the disorder. More information about the association, the different types of epilepsy and first aid for seizures can be found on the EAWNY’s newly designed Website at www.epilepsywny.org. Find our more about the international Wear Purple Day at http://www.purpleday.org.