ESP’s Purple People: Epilepsy Awareness Month

Landon McDaniel, aged 13, is one of ESP’s participants who has Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a rare form of Epilepsy that causes him to have several seizures a day.

His condition calls for constant and diligent care. As a result, Kelley McDaniel, Landon’s mother, spends a lot of her time worrying that a seizure may be missed by his caretakers or that he may be injured.

“The worrying is constant,” said Kelley.

“Landon has missed out on a lot of regular kid stuff because of Epilepsy, and he struggles daily with what most of us take for granted; communication, mobility, eating and drinking and so much more… all due to Epilepsy.”

ESP’s buddies, volunteers and class leads wore purple on the first Tuesday of the month during 360 to support Landon and others who are affected by epilepsy. November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, and people across the U.S. are wearing purple to start conversations about the condition.

As the fourth most common neurological disease in the nation (according to the Epilepsy Foundation) this brain disorder affects 3.4 million Americans to date. People of any age can be affected and the underlying causes of each case are still being studied.

However, it can be devastating to some. About 200,000 people will be diagnosed each year and about 50,000 will die each year because of Epilepsy.

For moms like Kelley those numbers are way too high for the awareness level within our communities, schools, doctor’s offices and hospitals to be so low.

“People affected by Epilepsy are not weird or scary,” she said.

“They have dreams and goals just like the rest of us, and if we work together, we can help them to be one step closer to reaching those goals and fulfilling those dreams.”

Spreading awareness starts in our own communities. To help advocate for Epilepsy, visit the Epilepsy Foundation’s website, and use the hashtag #EndEpilepsy in your own social media posts.

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About The Author

Haley Lacuesta

Haley is a fourth year International Affairs & Public Relations double major at the University of Georgia.

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