From Pink to Purple Ribbons, We Need Action
Last updated: November 2023
November is designated as Epilepsy Awareness Month. After just finishing up advocacy during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I am a bit fatigued. I am a stage III breast cancer survivor and spent most of the month talking and advocating about how we need to do more than wear pink ribbons to advance understanding and support the breast cancer community.
I also have a son with severe developmental delays and epilepsy, so we move forward with more advocacy during November to make waves in the understanding and support for epilepsy.
Epilepsy advocacy is about more than ribbons
However, my role as a breast cancer advocate has also taught me a lot about how we need to do more than just wear a ribbon. Breast cancer has gotten the attention of many corporations that want to make money from our disease. During October, you see streams of pink everywhere you go. I don't notice the same sentiment during November.
What I have learned in the breast cancer advocacy world is that no matter how many pink t-shirts or trinkets are sold, the real work comes from action in the advocacy community, so I am sharing the things that will make an impact this November and will stay with people that can help move research forward for long after the awareness month.
Here are some ways that you can do to make an impact this November.
Tell your epilepsy story
You may not feel like others want to hear about your journey, but they do! Your story may help someone else who is just being diagnosed with this disease feel less alone. It may resonate with a parent who is at their wit's end and needs that extra boost of confidence to keep going.
Tell your story because it matters. Here are some ways to tell your story:
- Post on social media once a day about your epilepsy experience and use hashtags to gain the attention of people outside of your friend group. Using video content can also gain more likes and get your post noticed.
- Write an Op-Ed for your local newspaper.
- If you are hosting a fundraising event for an epilepsy organization, offer to talk about your experience with the news leading up to the event day.
- If you are a student at a school talk to your teacher about sharing your story with your classmates to honor Epilepsy Awareness Month.
- Make an appointment with your state politicians this month to tell your story and share that you support more funding to research for the disease or whatever political issue is most important to your advocacy efforts related to epilepsy.
Support epilepsy advocacy through research
Wear the purple ribbon with a purpose. If someone asks you about your purple ribbon, let them know why you wear it and that they can help by donating to XYZ charity this month in support of research for epilepsy.
You could even go as far as creating small little cards with a purple ribbon that have a photo of the person you wear purple for and where to donate. QR codes are a great resource here.
Give to the cause
November is a great month for Epilepsy Awareness because it is a month of giving thanks for all our blessings. It is the month of Giving Tuesday, too, and many organizations depend on year-end giving from supportive donors.
Tell your story because it matters, and you can make a difference!
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