NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Viola Davis and Leslie Jones attend 2017 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TIME)
Kevin Mazur—Getty Images for TIME
By Flora Carr
March 26, 2018

People across the globe are set to color-cordinate today in honor of Purple Day 2018, the international day for epilepsy awareness.

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.

Write to Flora Carr at flora.carr@timeinc.com.

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