Madison students celebrate Wear Purple Day to raise awareness for epilepsy research

MADISON, Wis. — Epilepsy often goes unnoticed for those who don’t struggle with the condition, but those who do face a life-long battle.

People throughout Madison, including a group of students at High Point Christian School, helped raise awareness for the seizure-causing condition Friday with help from a local non-profit.

Hosted by Lily’s Fund, a non-profit that supports epilepsy research at UW-Madison, Wear Purple Day encourages people to show their support every year by simply wearing the color purple. While the celebration usually happens every March 26, this year’s celebration happened a day early because the traditional date falls on a Saturday this year.

Tania Van Orden, a Lily’s Fund Ambassador and mother of a child who struggles with epilepsy, said the special day gives them a special sense of comfort.

“It gives us a feeling that we can support something and that we have something that’s in our control, because epilepsy is tricky when you feel like you don’t control a lot,” Van Orden said.

Epilepsy Awareness from Lily’s Fund on Vimeo.


Wear Purple Day was first started in Nova Scotia in 2008, when then 9-year-old Cassidy Megan came up with the idea to raise awareness. The Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia adopted the idea that same year, and Lily’s Fund joined the campaign in 2010.

Since then, the day has given people a sense of support and warmth.

“It’s the one day where I feel like she’s just her and she’s just loved and she’s just, just a special child that has overcome a lot to be where she is,” Van Orden said.

Since 2010, Lily’s Fund has raised more than $1 million for epilepsy research. More information about Lily’s Fund and Wear Purple Day is available online.