Purple Day aims to dispel myths surrounding epilepsy, a condition of the brain that affects 50 million people worldwide. Cassidy Megan, 16, founded the event in 2008 following her own battles with epilepsy after she was diagnosed age 7. The Anita Kaufmann Foundation and Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia joined forces in 2009 and helped launch Purple Day internationally.
It’s estimated that 2.2 million Americans live with epilepsy today. Celebrities who were or have been affected by the condition include actor Danny Glover, former president Theodore Roosevelt, and rapper Lil Wayne.
The condition is characterized by recurrent seizures, and it’s one of the most common neurological disorders. An onset of epilepsy can occur at any age, although more often it occurs in childhood or late in life. Seizures can happen at any time, but in more than half of cases they can be controlled with medications. Read more about epilepsy here.