Townsville Icons Will Be Lighting Up For Epilepsy This Week

This'll be beautiful to see!

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Learn about living with Epilepsy, in this episode of #ThisIsTownsville with Hit 103.1's Carley Whittington:

Townsville will be aglow in a sea of purple from the 21st – 27th of March, when it joins more than 100 countries around the world who will light up their key landmarks purple, to show support for people living with epilepsy.

Globally, more than 65 million people live with the condition and here in Queensland 30,000 people are diagnosed with epilepsy.  Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes unpredictable seizures that suddenly interrupt a person’s education, employment, and daily life.

Townsville mum Wendy knows that interruption all too well after her daughter Lacy, 10, was diagnosed with Focal Cortical Dysplasia with a seizure disorder six and a half years ago.

“In the beginning we were very lost,” says Wendy. “For Lacy, living with epilepsy means sometimes giving up her privacy as she has to have people with her all the time, lots of tiredness due to the medications she’s on and sometimes missing out on activities.” 

“When Lacy was released from hospital she was still having 150 plus seizures per day.  I rang Epilepsy Queensland and they sent me some really useful information to move us forward with Lacy’s new diagnosis,” Wendy explains. “They also sent Lacy a book that helped to explain it.  Every year around Purple Day (March 26), Lacy reads this same book with her classmates so they too can better understand what is happening to her.”

The staff at Lacy’s school, Townsville Grammar, have all been trained on how to respond if there was to be an emergency.

“Lacy’s school has been great with this,” Wendy says. They are also holding an epilepsy fundraiser to show solidarity and support. Lacy is fortunate to be in the 70% of people who respond to medication and Wendy is pleased that her family can give hope to others whose lives have been turned upside down by an epilepsy diagnosis.

In addition to Lacy’s school, the city of Townsville is gearing up for the Epilepsy Queensland campaign and will light up structures including Victoria Bridge, Wharton Reef Lighthouse, George Roberts Bridge, Old Magistrates Court House, Little Fletcher Bridge and Queensland Country Bank Stadium. 

“We cannot thank Townsville City Council enough” says Epilepsy Queensland’s Chief Executive, Chris Dougherty. “Every 33 minutes an Aussie will have their life turned upside down by an epilepsy diagnosis. In that moment, we are there with understanding, information, and support to help turns things around.”

It could not be easier for everyone in Townsville to help turn things around for people with epilepsy. Simply post a photo to your social media – upside down! Just rotate any photo, post it to any social media platform with the caption “I am helping to turn things around for people with epilepsy”. By challenging and tagging friends you will spread the awareness even further. Use the hashtags #makemarchpurple @epilepsyqueensland.  Who do you want to see turn things around? Tag them!

23 March 2022

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