Get the kettle on for Epilepsy!
I love my cups of tea. Never coffee, just tea (or hot chocolate for special occasions!) I like it strong, hot and with milk. It’s one of my little pleasures and I have a collection of go-to teapots and cups just for this purpose…
You can probably guess I don’t REALLY need an excuse to pop the kettle on and indulge in a bit of me time with my favourite English Breakfast brew.
However, I do have a great excuse for having as many tea breaks as possible during November in support of E-Tea, a nationwide community fundraising initiative to raise funds and awareness for epilepsy. In the past I have supported the cause by wearing purple for Purple Day to raise awareness of the condition. Now, November is epilepsy awareness month, and I’m ready to further support a cause very close to my heart.
Why is this cause so special to me? Some of you may not know that I was diagnosed with simple partial seizures (temporal lobe epilepsy) back in 2001. It came out of nowhere and ruled my life for 18 months. I wasn’t allowed to drive, I had to undergo a myriad of tests, I had to go home from work early on multiple occasions after suffering a seizure and I felt my whole life was out of control. There was no explanation for the onset of symptoms – my epilepsy literally came out of nowhere – and I felt confused and alone.
Luckily my epilepsy was able to be controlled and I’ve now been seizure free since 2003 (I know that sounds like a political slogan, but it’s true!) However, I have friends who have also been diagnosed with epilepsy and unfortunately some of them have continued to struggle with seizures over a long period of time. It can be debilitating, seriously affect your quality of life and leave people feeling vulnerable and unable to live life to the full.
You may be surprised to know that epilepsy is the world’s most common serious brain disorder. An estimated 65 million people across the globe are currently diagnosed – in Australia alone it is estimated that over 250,000 Australians are currently living with the condition. In fact, epilepsy is more than three times as common as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy. However, it’s still so little understood.
Many people think of epilepsy as the stereotypical convulsing grand mal (tonic clonic) seizure. However, epilepsy comes in many different forms. And whether the seizure is visible to others or not, the after-effects are still devastating. I can still remember the weight of exhaustion that would follow one of my simple partial seizures. Anyone around me would not have a clue that I had just had a seizure but they could soon see I was incapable of doing anything else as my body attempted to recover from it.
That’s why it’s so important to normalise epilepsy, address the stigma and help raise funds and awareness to help those still struggling to control the condition.
This is why I love the idea of the E-Tea. What better way to spread awareness and fight stigma than getting friends, colleagues or family together to share morning or afternoon tea and learning a little bit more about epilepsy in the process?
To get your fundraising off to a great start, Epilepsy Action Australia are giving away free goodie packs containing lots of delicious treats and baking supplies, as well as tea and coffee samples to anyone who registers to hold an E-Tea event. Once you’ve registered your event, you’ll also be given access to information and resources to make your E-Tea fun, engaging and memorable – including posters, decorations, and games.
Not only can you help play a pivotal role in bringing epilepsy out of the shadows, but you can help to raise vital funds for Australian families whose lives have been impacted by an unpredictable and often highly distressing condition.
It’s not too late to take part! Order your FREE E-Tea starter pack today by visiting www.epilepsy.org.au or calling Epilepsy Action Australia on 1300 37 45 37.
Disclaimer: I have received no compensation for this post. I wanted to take part in promoting this initiative as epilepsy has personally affected me and I know it affects so many other families, both here in Australia, and internationally.
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