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Aston to raise awareness of epilepsy with International Purple Day

Purple Day

16 March 2015

Free film screenings, expert talks and special tours are all part of an international campaign to raise awareness of epilepsy being held at Aston University this month. 

The institution will celebrate International Purple Day on 26 March with a host of events, including a one-off screening of the critically acclaimed film, Electricity, starring model Agyness Deyn. 

The movie, which was released in cinemas earlier this year to rave reviews, follows a young epileptic woman’s search for her long lost brother. It was praised for its visually daring yet realistic depiction of epilepsy and the effects the condition can have upon peoples’ lives. The film will be shown, free of charge, at 12 noon in the Susan Cadbury Lecture Theatre in Aston Business School. 

There will also be a series of expert talks and tours held throughout the day. Professor Stefano Seri, Director of the Aston Brain Centre, will lead a tour of the facility, including a demonstration of how the Centre’s Dense Array EEG machine works. The tour will also take in the site’s newly refurbished MRI scanner, one of the most powerful in the UK. 

From 10am, Dr Caroline Scott from Birmingham Children’s Hospital will exhibit specialist epilepsy equipment in the Susan Cadbury Lecture Theatre. She will also host a Q&A session after the demonstration for anyone wanting to know more about the condition. 

Purple Day is an international event supporting people with epilepsy, created in 2008 by then nine-year-old, Cassidy Megan, following her own struggles with the disorder. People around the world, including all staff and students at Aston, are invited to wear an item of purple clothing on the day to show their backing for the cause. 

Karen Newman-Brown, Aston’s IT Administration Manager and organiser of Purple Day at the University, said:We want as many people as possible to wear purple and support a great cause this year at Aston. We are building on what we achieved with the event last year – we want to engage with more people and raise awareness on a bigger scale. 

“I began organising Purple Day at the University after I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2013. I had no previous health issues and I was fit and healthy so it was a real shock. I collapsed at work one day and the next thing I recall was waking up in hospital. It was very scary. Purple Day is a fantastic cause that means a great deal to me and I am sure the University will come together to celebrate it as one.” 

Over the course of the day, tables selling cakes and providing free epilepsy information leaflets will be set-up in the foyer areas of the Main Building and Aston Business School. 

To book a place on a tour or talk or for more information about Purple Day, including a full list of events, please contact Karen Newman-Brown: K.M.Newman-Brown@aston.ac.uk

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