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This article was published in March 2016. The information may be out of date. Please check our epilepsy information or our site A-Z.

UK shines the light for epilepsy on Purple Day

26 Mar 2016

As the UK joins the rest of the world marking Purple Day, key landmarks turn purple for epilepsy awareness.

Epilepsy Action supporters joined with other organisations to light up the skies for epilepsy - from Lerwick Town Hall in the Shetlands to the Tyne Bridge and Enniskillen Castle. In Northern Ireland alone 18 buildings turned purple.

Paul FawcettBehind every purple-lit brick and window lies the story of the 600,000 people across the UK living with epilepsy every day – people like Paul Fawcett.

Paul, 37, has been living with epilepsy for 19 years and has been sharing his epilepsy story. For 2 years in a row, he has successfully persuaded Gateshead and Newcastle councils to turn iconic north-east bridges purple. The Millennium and Tyne Bridges will glow purple tonight.

Diagnosed with epilepsy at 18, Paul had 35 seizures just in the last month. This means he has to rely on his family and friends for support. He has focal seizures that can make him confused about where he is or what he is doing. These can put him in quite a lot of danger.

Paul has cut, bruised and scalded himself when having a seizure. He has even fallen down the stairs and walked into the middle of a busy street.  He is passionate about raising awareness of epilepsy so that fewer people with the condition feel embarrassed when speaking out.

Paul said: “I think it is really important that people learn about epilepsy, and know that there are lots of different types of seizure. Epilepsy is a serious and life-threatening condition, and I want people to understand that it has a real impact, not only on the person affected, but also on their family and friends.

“I really hope that seeing such iconic landmarks turned purple will get people thinking and talking about epilepsy.”

People with epilepsy have been active on Twitter and Facebook sharing their own powerful epilepsy stories and photos to raise awareness. Purple Day and epilepsy have also been mentioned on numerous radio stations, television shows and websites including: BBC Radio Manchester, Closer Online, Net Doctor, BBC Radio Cumbria and ITV Central.

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