​​​Dear Colleagues,

On Wednesday, March 26th, I will be wearing something purple in support of Purple Day. Purple is the international colour for epilepsy, and UHN is proud to celebrate this important awareness day for a disorder that affects 1 in every 100 Canadians.

Epilepsy is a condition that is often misunderstood simply due to a lack of knowledge. It is not a mental illness but a physical condition that is expressed through seizures. Many people with epilepsy live with great anxiety at the thought of having seizures in public and seclude themselves as a result.

Purple Day is an opportunity to show support and compassion for people living with this disorder. It was started by Cassidy Megan, a young girl from Nova Scotia, to raise awareness about epilepsy. In 2012, Parliament passed Bill C-278 – the Purple Act – to officially recognize March 26th as "Purple Day" for epilepsy awareness, and 2013 marked the first national Purple Day in Canada.

A number of stories related to epilepsy will appear in UHN News this week, and I hope that you'll take the time to read them. These stories not only teach us more about this disorder but also demonstrate the strengths of the epilepsy program at Toronto Western Hospital.

Don't forget to show us your purple! We encourage staff to take pictures of your Purple Day gear and Tweet them to us. Here's how: Tweet your pics to @UHN​​ with the hashtag #PurpleDay. We'll feature your purple pics on our UHN Facebook page.

For more information on epilepsy and Purple Day visit www.epilepsytoronto.org or www.purpleday.org

My thanks to all of the staff in our epilepsy program for the work you do – it makes a huge difference in the lives of our patients.

Bob​​

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