The Purple Pumpkin Project
Hey there! Today we are sharing something a little different but that is very close to our hearts.
During Halloween have you ever seen painted purple pumpkins and wonder what they were for? Well, they are a part of the Purple Pumpkin Project (https://www.epilepsy.com/volunteer/fundraising/purple-pumpkin-project) and are a way to help start a conversation about epilepsy.
How did the project start?
While on a drive through Connecticut one Sunday morning with his family, founder Ron Lamontagne was brainstorming ideas on how to spread epilepsy awareness. The local pumpkin patch provided the solution. Since kids would soon be carving and decorating pumpkins, he thought why not make one pumpkin purple and tell people about epilepsy when asked, “Why is your pumpkin purple?”
So share with us, why is your pumpkin purple?
“My pumpkin is purple for my twin daughters, Emily and Mia. They both started having seizures around their first birthday and were both diagnosed with PCDH19 epilepsy by age 2. They have come a long way and are a couple of the strongest little girls I know. Until they were diagnosed, I didn’t realize how little I knew about seizures and epilepsy. Since then, spreading awareness has become a very important part of life for our family.”
“My pumpkin is purple for my daughter Lucia who has epilepsy. She began having seizures as a baby and was diagnosed with it when she was 2.5 years old. Like many, I had little knowledge about epilepsy until it impacted my child. I love involving Lucia in spreading awareness because it empowers her to feel confident in who she is!”
Another important time of the year that the epilepsy community focuses on spreading awareness is November, which is recognized as National Epilepsy Awareness Month (https://www.epilepsy.com/volunteer/spreading-awarness/national-epilepsy-awareness-month). Epilepsy, unfortunately, has a long history of misunderstanding and stigmatism. One of the goals of National Epilepsy Awareness Month is to separate the disease from its historical and false reputations. This annual event teaches people about epilepsy’s causes and symptoms. Epilepsy is one of the least understood of all the neurological diseases, yet it is the fourth most common. During this month, many organizations join together to provide information about prevention, treatment, research, and resources to fight epilepsy.
Every year the Epilepsy foundation has a theme, and this year the theme is “There is no NEAM without ME” and is all about community.
Did you know…
- 1 in 10 people will have a seizure and 1 in 26 will develop epilepsy during their lifetime.
- There are 3.4 million people living with epilepsy in the United States; 470,000 of them are children.
- Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that can affect any one of us regardless of race, age, or gender.
- Seizures are a symptom of epilepsy. Not all seizures are the same. Many people with epilepsy have more than one type of seizure.