Purple Day raises awareness of epilepsy

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Purple haze. . . East Gore School pupils, principal Wendy Kitto and Jade the dog show off the different outfits they wore as part of the schoolÂ’s Purple Day celebration on Friday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

There was a purple haze about East Gore School on Friday as pupils and staff dressed up in support of Epilepsy New Zealand’s Purple Day.

The show of support, held annually on March 26 around the globe, aims to raise awareness of epilepsy.

Principal Wendy Kitto said the day was marked at the school because one of its pupils, Corbin Belt, had epilepsy.

Being accepting of diversity was an important value in the school, Ms Kitto said.

“[It is important] for other students to learn about other students’ needs and abilities and things they have going on in their lives that they can’t always control.”

Pupils made and iced purple cupcakes as one of the day’s activities.

Corbin’s mother Melissa said the family appreciated the support of the school and community.

Corbin was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy called Doose Syndrome when he was 18 months old.

A variety of drug combinations had been tried to help treat the condition.

“He is very heavily medicated without success yet.

“He has good days where he’s only having a few seizures or bad days when it could be a hundred-plus.”

There were eight different ways Corbin could experience an epileptic seizure which meant it was difficult to teach others what to look for, she said.

“It could be as simple as a jolt of an arm, a roll of the eyes, right down to a full [seizure].”

The family has a Facebook page where it shares details of the journey.

“It shares our good and our bad and is a way of keeping everyone in the loop when things are bad.”