Lighting honors 215,000 living with epilepsy and nearly 9,000 newly diagnosed every year
Gov. Kathy today announced that multiple landmarks and bridges across New York will be illuminated in purple to recognize Epilepsy Awareness Month. The event aims to promote awareness of the disorder and expand services across New York.
“Epilepsy has been misunderstood and stigmatized, and the seizures it causes can create barriers to education and employment, and lead to isolation for those living with the disorder,” Hochul said. “I am grateful to those who are working to erase those obstacles and increase access to programs and services across New York state.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 215,000 people in New York are living with active epilepsy, a disorder of the central nervous system that results in seizures. Other studies suggest that close to 9,000 individuals are newly diagnosed every year in the state.
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. James V. McDonald said, “November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, and we are reminded about how having the disorder can alter a person's life, leading to problems at school or work. I am thankful for many individuals with epilepsy. There is safe and effective treatment that allows them to live life fully with this chronic condition.”
People with epilepsy may also face discrimination from others who may not understand what is happening during a seizure. The New York landmarks to be lit in recognition of National Epilepsy Awareness Month include:
For additional information about the disorder, including how it is diagnosed and treatment options, visit the department's epilepsy website here.