Epilepsy 101 is an on campus event to raise awareness and spread information about epilepsy, in correspondence with the tenth annual Purple Day, which aims to increase epilepsy awareness globally.
Epilepsy 101 will be taking place on Purple Day, March 26, going from 6 to 8 p.m., in 105 Keirstead Hall.
The event is organized by UNB Student Union arts councillor Perry Dykens, who himself was born with a type of epilepsy called West Syndrome.
Dykens felt compelled to organize the event after noticing a lack of awareness surrounding epilepsy in the province.
“I’ve noticed that in New Brunswick, it’s not talked about much. There isn’t an association at all that looks at epilepsy and so it’s really underrepresented, even though there should,” said Dykens.
There will be a number of people sharing their knowledges and experiences with epilepsy. The guest speaker will be Dr. Kristin Ikeda, a neurologist who specializes in epilepsy, as well as a few others who will speak about living with epilepsy.
The speakers on the panel will include those born with epilepsy, as well as an individual who developed a seizure disorder from a head injury.
Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask questions. Dykens hopes that increasing information and awareness of epilepsy will help in dispelling myths surrounding the disorder.
“I wanted to get something out where we can start dispelling these myths and actually see epileptics as the individuals behind the disorder as opposed to just, you know, what’s shown on TV,” said Dykens.
Dykens notes the common stereotype that flashing lights are a trigger for all epileptics, despite this only being true for a relatively small portion of epileptics.
He says that many people with neurological disorders, including learning disorders, often still experience stigma around coming to university, but that increased awareness, conversation, and information can help dispel myths that contribute to this stigma.
“I think that our campus is moving forward greatly and we are very responsive to trying to see the world from other people’s perspectives and so I think this is just another opportunity to see the world from somebody else’s view,” said Dykens.