I looked over at the school foyer. A cake sale. For Cancer Research. People throw their money at pink ribbons every day and feel like they've done so much to help the world but really they've barely helped half. Sure once we get rid of Cancer the world will be better; less people will die miserable deaths, but what about the people living miserable lives. The people suffering by themselves with no one willing to go all the way to help them. Do they just not see us?
Can't they see the people hiding in the corner of the classroom scared to make friends in case they have a fit and freak them out? Do they know that people are forced out of their normal livestyles because for most of the day they aren't even conscious? People are putting money into one worthy cause and assuming that their pink pounds will bring peace to the whole world. They don't know the half of it. Nobody knows the half of it.
I doubt that most people reading this know any seizures other than a tonic clonic or fit as they say. They hear the word Epilepsy and assume that people who have it get seizures from when someone flashes bright lights in their face. Most people in the world are oblivious to the number of different types of epilepsy there are let alone what damage they can cause. They're probably never heard of SUDEP, Absence seizures, febrile seizures, Dravet syndrome, all the things that add together to make a condition with an unknown cause. A condition that can kill. A condition with no cure.
I suppose they would think that cancer is more important. That it needs more attention because more people die from it. My problem isn't that cancer gets more attention than Epilepsy! My problem is that people label cancer as charity work in general. They feel that once they've donated to a cancer organisation they've donated to every charity in the world and they don't need to do anything else. It's like they see charity as pink alone and any other colour is a waste of time or not as important.
So looking at this cake sale in front of me all I see is prejudice. I see people smiling at me and beckoning me over to their first class ticket to their version of a good reputation. They can't see that I don't walk properly. They don't see that I'm exhausted. They only see the money I hold in my pocket to buy a cupcake. The money that will help them pay their way into heaven. I reach the table and hand over my 50p coin. They hand me my cupcake and as I take the cupcake from the man's hand I slip a leaflet into his hand. He unfolds the leaflet and reads the cover. '1 in every 100'.
I'm gone before he has a chance to reply. I'll never know if he would have read the back. Whether he would see that Epilepsy has just as much importance as any other ailment. It doesn't matter! I've done my part. Now it's time for the world to step up.
My name is Haley and I have Dravet Syndrome. It's a type of Epilepsy that never leaves you alone. Every time I try to sleep I have tonic clonic seizures. My parents are set on a sleepless schedule to help me out. We've tried every medicine the doctors have given us. We're running out of things to go on. Medical Cannabis is something that is considered for other patients but not for me. They think it may be too dangerous.
I'm asking you as nicely as I can. Epilepsy NEEDS a cure. I'm not the only person like this! We need help. You'll only ever have to do the same things that people do for Cancer Research. Spread the word about Epilepsy! Join us for Purple Day on March 26th. Make the world around you aware of seizures. One day the world will see every condition with as much seriousness as cancer. Will you help make that possible?
Purple Day Website - http://www.purpleday.org/
Purple Day Twitter - https://twitter.com/PurpleDay
Purple Day Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/PURPLE-DAY-for-EPILEPSY/24057553504
Purple Day YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dztzfDJit-c
Lisa Smith (Haley's Dravet Syndrome Story) - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUhm2sgFuoznafeG1rSCvZA