Statements heard in the House of Assembly on March 21, 2019 regarding Purple Day, Epilepsy Awareness, and the work of Epilepsy Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Hon John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services:
Mr. Speaker, I rise in this hon. House to acknowledge Epilepsy Awareness Month, and in particular, Purple Day, which takes place on Tuesday, March 26.
Purple Day is an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy.
Epilepsy can affect anyone, and according to the World Health Organization is the most common serious brain disorder, with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. Epilepsy affects over 300,000 Canadians, 10,000 of which are Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this time to recognize Epilepsy Newfoundland and Labrador for the wide range of services and programs they provide, and their continued advocacy work for people living with epilepsy.
I would also like to acknowledge the 2019 Purple Ambassador, Lisa Pack, a young woman from Hermitage, who says epilepsy has never and will never own her life.
On March 26, Confederation Building will be lit purple, and I encourage the Members of this hon. House, as well as the general public, to where this brilliant colour in support of people living with epilepsy in our province.
It’s time to end the stigma.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. David Brazil MHA Conception Bay East-Bell Island
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the minister for an advance copy of his statement.
On behalf of the Official Opposition, I join with the minister in recognizing March as Epilepsy Awareness Month, and specifically, recognizing Tuesday, March 26, as Purple Day. Purple Day was created by Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia in 2008, with support from the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance and other epilepsy agencies. It has now grown into a national awareness effort.
Lisa Pack of Hermitage has been chosen as the province’s 2019 Purple Ambassador. I thank her for her advocacy efforts and I encourage all Members to read her inspirational story on the Epilepsy NL website. After reading Lisa’s story, I believe that we can all learn from her wisdom and grace.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Ms. Gerry Rogers MHA St. John’s Centre:
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the minister.
Epilepsy has been such a misunderstood and stigmatized condition. Congratulations to Epilepsy Newfoundland and Labrador, working in so many ways to fight the stigma, and they support children and adults living with epilepsy. They are doing great work, and we all have a responsibility to educate ourselves.
Congratulations to Lisa Pack, the 2019 Purple Ambassador. Lisa’s story and resilience is featured on the Epilepsy Newfoundland and Labrador website, and I encourage everyone to read it.
Bravo, Lisa, for the great work.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.