Act promoting epilepsy awareness receives Royal Assent
HALIFAX, June 29, 2012 /CNW/ - An Act representing a day to increase
public awareness about epilepsy, Bill C-278, has received Royal Assent
and is now a legally recognized day for epilepsy awareness in
Canada. The Bill establishes March 26 as Purple Day, a day each year
when Canadians wear purple to promote a greater awareness of epilepsy
and support the 300,000 Canadians living with the disorder. Inspired by
Cassidy Megan, Purple Day dispels the myths about epilepsy and helps
people living with the disorder understand that they are not alone.
Hon. Geoff Regan, M.P. for Halifax West, wrote the Private Member's,
Bill C-278 (The Purple Day Act), in late 2008. Since then, Bill C-278
has progressed through the necessary steps in the House of Commons and
Senate, to become law. "The swift passing of this Bill is a meaningful
show of support for the 300,000 Canadians living with epilepsy and
their families," said Regan.
"I am so grateful that Mr. Regan and Parliament believed in me and
Purple Day, and showed the 300,000 Canadians living with epilepsy that
they care and that we are not alone," said Cassidy Megan, Purple Day
founder. "I also want to thank the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia
and the other member agencies of the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance for
helping me make my dream come true."
According to a survey titled The Impact of Epilepsy on Canadians, conducted in late 2011 by Leger Marketing, many Canadians living with
epilepsy experience social isolation, work barriers and relationship
issues. Over half of the survey respondents (56 per cent) say that
restricted independence due to epilepsy is their number one challenge.
Stigma, discrimination and a lack of awareness about epilepsy is cited
by 38 per cent as the number two challenge, along with the impact of
the disorder on their social life. The third biggest challenge facing
Canadians with epilepsy is maintaining employment, with half saying
their job choices are restricted, and just under 40 per cent unable to
get a job if they disclose their condition.
"On behalf of the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance, I would like to thank Mr.
Regan for writing the Private Member's Bill and Parliament for passing
this legislation," said Deirdre Floyd, Chair of the Purple Day Campaign
and Vice-President of the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance. "To my knowledge,
this is the only legislation of its kind in Canada. I strongly believe
that Purple Day will help to further our national mandate to support
public awareness for epilepsy and research for those living with this
serious neurological condition."
About Purple Day
Purple Day for Epilepsy is celebrated each year on March 26 and is
dedicated to raising awareness about epilepsy. It helps reduce stigma
and empowers individuals living with epilepsy to take action in their
communities. Purple Day was founded in 2008 by nine-year-old Cassidy
Megan of Nova Scotia, and named after the internationally recognized
colour for epilepsy, lavender. Purple Day was launched internationally
in 2009. The Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia and the Anita Kaufmann
Foundation in the United States are the Global Partners for the Purple
Day Campaign. For more information, please visit www.purpleday.org and to view Bill C-278, please visit http://bit.ly/L4cy5u.
About the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance
The Canadian Epilepsy Alliance (CEA) is a Canada-wide network of 27
grassroots organizations dedicated to the promotion of independence and
quality of life for people with epilepsy and their families, through
support services, information, advocacy, and public awareness. As the
voting member of the International Bureau of Epilepsy (IBE), the CEA is
the voice for those living with epilepsy in Canada and internationally.
The IBE is the international organization that serves to develop,
support and link national epilepsy organizations around the world and
exists to improve the quality of life of all people with epilepsy and
their families and caregivers. The Canadian Epilepsy Alliance works
with the IBE and participates in global initiatives representing those
living with epilepsy in Canada. For more information, please visit www.epilepsymatters.com.
SOURCE Canadian Epilepsy Alliance
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