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Health and Community Services
March 26, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Health and Community Services:

Provincial Government Recognizes Purple Day for Epilepsy

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this Honourable House today to observe Purple Day for Epilepsy in Newfoundland and Labrador, a worldwide event that began in Eastern Canada.

Mr. Speaker, our government received a letter from Luke Noftall, requesting our recognition of March 26 as Purple Day for Epilepsy. I am pleased that Luke and his mother Elizabeth Noftall have joined us today. Gail Dempsey and Pamela Anstey from Epilepsy Newfoundland and Labrador are also present today in the gallery.

I commend the work of Epilepsy Newfoundland and Labrador. For nearly 30 years this organization has provided support and information to individuals and their families throughout the province.

Mr. Speaker, as part of their Paint the Province Purple campaign, Epilepsy Newfoundland and Labrador has organized community activities that will take place throughout the province this week to help raise awareness and understanding of epilepsy.

Nine-year-old Cassidy Megan from Nova Scotia organized the first Purple Day at her elementary school, after being diagnosed with epilepsy in 2008. Cassidy reflected in a letter to her supporters that her diagnosis had made her feel “afraid and embarrassed of what other people would think.” By encouraging people to wear purple, the internationally recognized colour for epilepsy, she hoped that people who experienced seizures would feel less alone.

Mr. Speaker, one little girl’s idea has grown into a global event in just three short years. March 26 is now celebrated as Purple Day for Epilepsy in dozens of countries and has done a great deal to further understanding, reduce stigma and improve the quality of life for people with epilepsy.

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions and affects over 10,000 people in our province. I invite the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador to participate in Purple Day activities and support those who live with epilepsy each day.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

2012 03 26             1:45 p.m.

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