March 23, 2022
A Blackbutt man is hoping to raise awareness about epilepsy – and encourage the community to support fundraising activities – during the Make March Purple campaign.
Lance Nash, 41, was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2016 after suffering a head injury at work.
He is sharing his story as part of Epilepsy Queensland’s Make March Purple campaign which culminates in World Purple Day on March 26.
Lance said he did not start having seizures until nine months after his injury.
“They slowly progressed into tonic-clonic (convulsive) seizures which turned my life upside down,” Lance said.
“I was no longer able to do the things in life that made me happy and fell into a world of depression after my diagnosis.”
Going out in public sparked anxiety.
“I used to be a very confident person but my epilepsy took all my self-confidence away and meeting new people makes me very anxious,” he said.
“My speech, memory, comprehension and learning abilities have been significantly affected.”
He says there is a need to raise more awareness about epilepsy among the public, especially in rural areas.
“Raising awareness for epilepsy in schools and workplaces is extremely important and I feel there just isn’t enough awareness within communities,” he said.
“The Make March Purple campaign is a great opportunity to take a moment to reach out, speak, and support people with epilepsy and their families, and most importantly raise awareness and funds to provide further support for programs such as counselling and research.”
Epilepsy Queensland CEO Chris Dougherty said the funds raised during March would contribute towards free education and workshops to help families understand their epilepsy.
“Working with someone to recognise what might trigger their seizures and what they can do to manage their condition is important work,” he said.
“We have been working in the community for over 50 years to help people live well with epilepsy.
“We deliver thousands of free training workshops to families all over Queensland, giving carers the skills and confidence to administer rescue medication that can be lifesaving.
“We also provide psychosocial support to help people cope with what can be a very challenging diagnosis.
“The people we support want us to raise awareness of the impact that epilepsy has on their everyday life. They want us to help everyone to understand that epilepsy is not just seizures, it interrupts their employment, education, and relationships.”