Epilepsy is a neurological disorder, which after a migraine is the most frequent neurological disorder worldwide. While it affects around 2% if the world population, over thirty percent of epilepsy patients are resistant to existing epilepsy treatments. Because it’s a neurological disorder, the nature of the research is complex which is why cure rates have sadly not improved over the last 50 years (Huffington Post, 2014).
What many people don’t know is that epilepsy can develop at any time in your life, and isn’t necessarily linked to genetics. In the majority of the cases – around 70% – the cause of epilepsy is unknown, which makes the research even more complicated (BestHealthMag.ca, 2009). This is why more research is needed in order to find better treatments and a cure for epilepsy. People suffering from epilepsy also need extra help and guidance, and next to investing in research, this is what epilepsy foundations are doing worldwide.
Purple Day is the international awareness day for epilepsy, which takes place on March 26th each year. The colour purple is the international colour for epilepsy, and also symbolises seclusion, which is how people who suffer from this neurological disorder often feel. Purple Day is used to raise awareness, and everyone can participate by being a ´Purple Ambassador´. As purple is also the colour that represents STYLIGHT, we are proud to be purple ambassadors and hope to make a difference. Alongside the launch of STYLIGHT’s magazine, we want to spread the word about epilepsy and raise funds together with international influencers through a Purple Auction.
Celine Prins, together with Valerie van Lanschot, founded Modellist-ID. At Modellist-ID the aim is to look into various opportunities to find an answer to the question: “How to leverage a talented community, with lots of untapped potential, to inspire and educate their peers and huge networks of followers and fans.”
Modellist-ID is known to have a voice through their huge influential community members. This time around with STYLIGHT they would like to focus on an important disease which can happen to anyone and anytime: epilepsy.Epilepsy has a big impact on an individuals life and the side-effects of the medicines are severe. Research is much needed.
We sat down with Celine Prins to ask her some questions on the topic of epilepsy.
STYLIGHT: What are common misconceptions around epilepsy?
CELINE: First of all there is a misconception about epilepsy being rare. Epilepsy is not rare. It affects 65 million people and yet there is no cure for epilepsy. I have some close friends who have epilepsy and for them the current medicines are not ideal. The side effects, like having low energy and losing hair are obviously not desirable .The problem is that stopping with the medicines is an option but the fear that it comes back at an unexpected moment is terrible to live with. The other fact is that people with epilepsy CAN handle jobs, stress and other responsibilities and can do the same things that people without epilepsy can do. It is important that people don’t start treating peers diagnosed with epilepsy differently. Nevertheless research is needed so we can improve the lifestyle which comes with this affection. That is why we support Purple Day.
STYLIGHT:What is the one thing that people really need to know about epilepsy?
CELINE:That it can happen to anyone at any given time. And if it happens to someone around you don’t put something in their mouth but roll them slowly on their side. While having an attack the pressure on the teeth is so strong that it is impossible to put something in between. It is a misconception that lot of us have. Make sure you support their head and protect them from injury. Most seizures end in a few minutes and end on their own.
Because this cause is close to our hearts, STYLIGHT is working together with some of the world’s top influencers in addition to Modellist-ID to help raise awareness of epilepsy while at the same time raising funds for 12 international epilepsy funds through a Purple Day Auction. Olcay Gulsen, Jamie Laing, Negin Mirsalehi, CEO Luisaviaroma and DJane Chelsea Leyland are just some of the big names who are helping us support this cause. We believe that raising awareness through these influencers and raising funds with the auction will give this cause a greater voice. All proceeds of the auctioned items will be divided between the 12 different epilepsy foundations. We’re convinced that this patchwork of international efforts can make a difference, and we hope you’ll join us spread the word and support this worthy cause!