International Epilepsy Day: Celebrating bravery around the globe

The 11th of February is International Epilepsy Day! It occurs on the second Monday of February each year, and aims to increase awareness about epilepsy across the globe.

Here, at Empatica, our customers' stories of courage, resilience, and strength serve as our greatest source of inspiration. The power of sharing your story is unrivaled. It helps others better understand epilepsy, passes on wisdom, and transmits hope. To that end, we’re encouraging you to share your story on your social media account using the hashtag #myembracestory. For every story that gets shared, we'll donate $10 to The Danny Did Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to prevent deaths caused by seizures.

If you’d like to know how others are raising awareness about epilepsy, we’ll tell you about some of the cool initiatives that are taking place to bring greater attention to epilepsy around the world. The events we've chosen are all local community events, just to highlight that getting involved and making an impact towards a better future doesn't take much, usually just a few people to pull together behind a common cause. And every little action makes a difference. We hope they’ll inspire others to get involved and celebrate awareness in their own way.

Norridge, Illinois

On Sunday, February 10th, the Häagen-Dazs shops in Lincolnwood Town Center and Harlem Irving Plaza are supporting epilepsy research by donating a portion of the day's sales to CURE, the leading nongovernmental agency fully committed to funding research in epilepsy.

Washington, North Carolina

Looking to shuffle those feet a bit? Join the Race for Epilepsy on Saturday, February 16th. The Fun Run/Walk starts at 7:30am. If you're looking for a bit of a challenge, sign up for the 5K which starts at 7am. And, if you're feeling extra charged and ready to go the distance, there's also a half-marathon which starts at 7am.

Veneto, Italy

The Italian League Against Epilepsy and Italian Association Against Epilepsy – Veneto have teamed up to launch a milk carton campaign that will display the 8 rules to helping someone having a seizure. Lattebusche, based in Belluno, Italy, in the northern region of Veneto, is the dairy co-op that has already started selling the cartons of milk in December 2018, and will continue until May 2019. As nearly everyone buys milk, the simple, yet effective idea is expected to reach 1.5 million people, and we hope other cities follow their lead.

Bologna, Italy

On the 9th of February, a free event will be held at the Relais Bellaria Hotel in Bologna, Italy to discuss the link between the clinical understanding of epilepsy and social exclusion. The talks will center around the stigma of epilepsy, and how to combat it.

Dublin, Ireland

Epilepsy Ireland, whose goal is to improve the quality of life of people with epilepsy in Ireland, will be hosting a free public seminar to highlight the latest developments of epilepsy research in Ireland, and abroad. Some of the topics to be covered will be the changing face of epilepsy research and medical cannabis. Tickets are free, however space is limited.

Madrid, Spain

The University of Alcalá de Henares will host Multidisciplinary Epilepsy Day, where experts from different disciplines, such as Neurology, Pharmacology, Nursing, Nutrition and Neuropsychology will present their latest findings and research. The presentations are expected to start at 10am and finish around 2pm.

Gent, Belgium

On the 9th of February, an event will be held titled "Epilepsy, what does it do with your work, life and well-being?”. Lunch, coffee, and childcare will also be provided.

If none of these events are near you, there are still plenty of other ways to participate. You could share an article about epilepsy with a friend or family member, share your own epilepsy story, read about the latest epilepsy research, or ask others that live with the condition what you can do to help.

It’s important that these conversations are happening. If a friend of yours has epilepsy and you’re afraid to approach the topic, just do it. They’ll let you know if they want to talk about it or not. If you have epilepsy yourself, we know that it can make you feel very vulnerable, and you may not be ready yet to share your story. That’s okay, you can try to write it down for when you feel ready later on. After all, everyone has their own journey and their own timing. What's difficult today builds strength for tomorrow.

We hope to hear and learn from you.

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