Purple Day was started in 2008 by Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia to let those who live with seizures know that they are not alone. Epilepsy Newfoundland and Labrador is proud to have participants who have been involved in Purple Day for many years, and Rachel Spicer, along with her family, have been participating in Purple Day since 2009! Rachel has led Purple Day at her high school each year, and this year marks her final year of high school. Epilepsy NL Community Information Officer Sarah Mercer spoke with Rachel via email and she had the following to say about her experiences with Purple Day and ENL.
In 2009, my sister Heather Spicer and I started participating in Purple Day. We learned about Purple Day from Epilepsy NL and we wanted to do our part. At the elementary school level starting in grade 3, I encouraged my classmates and school to wear purple. I continued to do this through all of my years of high school until grade 12. My father, Tim, was diagnosed with epilepsy when Heather was an infant. I have seen how epilepsy has affected his life and our family life and I wanted to do my part to help support/ raise awareness. My cousin Adam has also lived with epilepsy his entire life. To me there were too many stereotypes of epilepsy. Being that all seizures were grand mal (tonic-clonic) seizures and lead to convulsions on the floor. My dad has Focal Impaired Awareness seizures so his type of seizure is completely different to that stereotype. I wanted others to be aware and to become educated. In the past few years, my school has always been a supporter of Purple Day. The majority of students wear purple and have been supportive of the students in the school with epilepsy. I always set up a table with information and ribbons where people can come ask me questions and learn a little more about epilepsy. A few years ago we had the paint your thumb purple activity where you could paint your nail purple with nail polish. Surprisingly, this went over well with the boys in the school! When I was 12 years old I created a small business I called FoamRaising for Epilepsy. I created small foam creations and donated 100% of the sales to Epilepsy NL. I sold these creations at school and to friends and family. This has always been my favourite way to support Purple day and Epilepsy. It wasn’t something that was too difficult for me to do but I was able to help out some others who live with epilepsy.
Thank you, Rachel and family for your support and dedication over the years, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors!
“Foamraising” 2011 Purple Day 2014