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Gratitude & Reflection - Celebrating Purple Day & Young Adults with Epilepsy's 1 Year Anniversary!

Updated: Mar 27

Purple Day holds a special place in my heart, symbolizing a global embrace of epilepsy awareness, a cause deeply woven into the fabric of my life. Initiated in 2008 by Cassidy Megan, a young warrior battling epilepsy – now a young adult herself - Purple Day has blossomed into a worldwide movement of unity and support. 

Reflecting on a Year of Impact

Since the inception of Young Adults with Epilepsy (YAWE) in March 2023, I'm overwhelmed by the waves of change we've been able to create, fueled by the bravery and resilience of individuals like my son & our YAWE team. Our mission at YAWE is clear: to foster resilience and independence in young adults with epilepsy. Ultimately, we aspire to dismantle the stigma surrounding epilepsy, fostering a secure and open YAWE community where acceptance thrives, and individuals feel safe to share their experiences and learn from others.

Our Path to Empowerment

I am very proud of the launch of our monthly Peer Workshops. They're safe, authentic & open spaces where real, impactful conversations happen—about taking control of your life, sharing your story of epilepsy, and standing up against stigma. What makes these workshops extra special is they are led by Young Adults living with Epilepsy and coached by a MFT that also lives with Epilepsy.  After one of these workshops, a participant approached me and said, "Finding YAWE was like discovering a family I never knew I had." That moment, right there, is why we do what we do.

Introducing Peer Support

This month marks the beginning of our Peer Support program, a weekly drop in on Wednesdays, an initiative I'm particularly excited about. It's built on the foundation of sharing and support, guided by people who've walked this path themselves.

Building our Epilepsy Community

What sets YAWE apart is our commitment to not just serving our community but actively involving them. We're proud that over 40% of our budget goes towards creating meaningful roles within our organization for people touched by epilepsy. This approach not only empowers our community but also enriches our mission with genuine insights and experiences. "Joining YAWE changed my life," is something I hear often from our team, and it echoes my sentiments exactly.

Leadership from Experience

Our leadership team is made up with individuals who've lived the reality of epilepsy, whether personally or alongside a loved one. This includes amazing people like Dr. Stella Legarda – an Epileptologist, Bonnie Bufkin, David Clifford, and Austin Cole, whose diverse experiences ensure our decisions are made with empathy and understanding at the forefront.

What Lies Ahead

Looking forward, we're excited about our upcoming Walk for Epilepsy in Monterey (“You Otter Know: 1 in 26”) on October 19, in partnership with YMCA Central Coast . We also have a Golf Tournament Planned for October 21 at the The Club at Pasadera and we plan to host a breakout session focused on Young Adults at Epilepsy Awareness Day at Disneyland in November.  Our Events Page provides a great overview of programs & activities we have planned.

As I reflect on Purple Day and our journey at YAWE, I'm reminded of the power of community and the strength found in shared experiences. This day, and every day, we're inspired to continue our mission, turning understanding into action.

Let’s Stay in Touch!

To join us in our mission or learn more, visit us at Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by epilepsy, one step at a time.





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