Purple Walk 4 Epilepsy WA to raise funds for Joondalup support group

Charlie Blann (Butler), Emma Buitendag (CEO Epilepsy WA) and Carole Guilfoyle-Black (facilitator Joondalup Epilepsy Support Group) and Lewis (8-months).
Charlie Blann (Butler), Emma Buitendag (CEO Epilepsy WA) and Carole Guilfoyle-Black (facilitator Joondalup Epilepsy Support Group) and Lewis (8-months).

PEOPLE will be donning purple for a fundraising event for Epilepsy WA support groups this month.

The Purple Walk 4 Epilepsy WA family fun event will take place on Sunday, March 24 with participants walking 1km laps at Curtin University from 10am to 2pm.

About 26,000 Western Australians have epilepsy with 1400 new patients diagnosed each year, with those aged over 60 the largest age group to be diagnosed nationally.

Epilepsy WA chief executive Emma Buitendag said one in 20 children in Australia would have a seizure and one in 200 children had to live with epilepsy.

“Adults and children with epilepsy may face frequent and unpredictable seizures,” Mrs Buitendag said.

“A diagnosis of epilepsy has a profound long term impact on lives, affecting the whole family.

“While medication helps 70 per cent of those with the common neurological condition, for many others seizures are experienced weekly or even daily.”

There are seven epilepsy support groups in WA, including one for the Joondalup area that meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at Beaumaris Community Centre in Ocean Reef from 6.30pm to 8pm.

The Purple Walk event will have live entertainment, food vans and activities for children, including face painting, a bouncy castle, cuddly animal farm and pipe band.

There will be prizes for the best dressed walkers and highest online fundraisers.

Register to join in the fun at www.purplewalk4epilepsywa.com.au or call 1300 852 853.

First aid for seizures

EPILEPSY Action Australia is encouraging Australians to learn the basics of seizure first aid in the lead up to Purple Day on March 26.

Chief executive Carol Ireland said it could help reduce the fear people may experience if someone had a seizure in front of them and needed help.

“Around 250,000 Australians are currently diagnosed with epilepsy, and approximately 3.5 per cent of the Australian population will experience this neurological disorder at some point in their lifetime,” she said.

“Knowing how to help someone having a seizure can literally save a person’s life.”

Epilepsy Action has produced a series of animated videos for children and adults at www.epilepsy.org.au .

Seizure First Aid – Key Steps

Stay with the person

Keep them safe, removing anything that could hurt them

Don’t try to restrain them

Don’t put anything in their mouth

Roll them onto their side once jerking/shaking subsides

Reassure them until they have recovered

Call an ambulance if the seizure lasts longer than five minutes.