FREMANTLE Prison will turn purple tonight (Saturday March 26) to help raise money for Epilepsy WA.
As part of a state-wide fundraiser, 46 landmarks across WA will be lit purple to raise awareness and cash for the charity.
The following day there will be a ‘virtual’ Walk 4 Epilepsy.
Normally fundraisers dressed in purple do 1km laps of Edinburgh Oval South at Curtin University, but due to covid the charity will host an online get-together instead.
Epilepsy WA help people like East Fremantle’s Alyce Sala, who was diagnosed with epilepsy aged 13. Ms Sala’s seizure control rapidly decreased in her mid-20s and she was diagnosed with drug-resistant epilepsy.
Over the years she has sustained nasty injuries during seizures including shoulder dislocations, broken fingers, chipped teeth and black eyes.
Ms Sala eventually had a brain resection (neurosurgery) in 2020, but despite still having seizures she is living life to the max – recently competing in the Chicago Marathon and finishing her honours degree to work as an environmental scientist.
Epilepsy WA’s Tanyia Maxted says one in 25 Western Australians have epilepsy, with 1500 new cases diagnosed each year.
“There are more Western Australians living with epilepsy than the combined total with Parkinson’s, MS, MND, muscular dystrophy, blindness and cerebral palsy,” she says.
“Epilepsy is considered one of the top five causes of avoidable deaths in children and young adults.”
Ms Maxted says parents caring for a child with epilepsy suffer too, with one in four suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“The biggest misconceptions about epilepsy are its prevalence – due to the stigma and discrimination around the condition, but it’s a common neurological condition,” she says
“Everyone will know someone with epilepsy, but it will likely be undisclosed.”
Epilepsy WA aim to help reduce seizures, injuries, trauma and preventable deaths and suicides from epilepsy through their awareness programs like Epilepsy Smart Schools.
They have the largest display of seizure-alert technology in Australia, including the only free bed sensor mat loan program for families, and run an annual Epilepsy Conference, featuring the latest research from WA’s leading neurologists.
To find out more and to donate see epilepsywa.asn.au