Epilepsy book draws attention to Purple Day


Simone Diston with her book on epilepsy.
Simone Diston with her book on epilepsy.

The Wembley resident (26) is one of more than 800,000 Australians who have been affected by epilepsy.

“I was diagnosed with epilepsy at 14 – some people are born with it but I was diagnosed later in life,” Ms Diston said,

“I was 12 when I had my first seizure and I was at a school disco with the strobe lighting – I was feeling weird but I didn’t really know what was going on and then I woke up in hospital.

“I started having seizures again at 14 – that’s when I was diagnosed and put on a lot of different medications.”

Ms Diston said high doses of her medication affected her ability to work – particularly her memory.

“I went through a stage where I went through so many jobs I lost count,” she said.

“In 2013 I went on an Action Adventure Camp with EAA (Epilepsy Action Australia) in Sydney and it gave me a completely different view on life.”

After she was asked to read out her journal at the camp, Ms Diston found writing was a good way to express herself and she published two books – one of which is based on the story of a person with epilepsy.

Now an EAA partner, Ms Diston donates $20 a month to EAA, which supports research and advocacy services for people with epilepsy.

From noon to 3pm on March 26, Ms Diston will host a Purple Day fundraiser at the Wembley Community Centre (40 Alexander Street) to benefit EAA.

The event, which requires a gold coin donation for entry, will include performances from Perth musician Shameem, food, a raffle and a speech from EAA epilepsy educator Tina Furse.

“You have something like Daffodil Day and everyone know about that but not many people know about Purple Day,” Ms Diston said. “Epilepsy really affects people’s lives.”

For information and for links to donate to Ms Diston’s fundraising page, visit bit.ly/1o0j3tR.