Riot of colour for cause

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Cat­trall Park in Kar­ratha was awash with pur­ple last Sun­day at a com­mu­nity event which may be­come an an­nual tra­di­tion to raise lo­cal aware­ness of epilepsy.

About 75 peo­ple turned out for Tahni’s Pur­ple Day in the Park, a pri­vate event for lo­cal res­i­dent Tahni John­ston, 11, held on in­ter­na­tional epilepsy aware­ness day, Pur­ple Day.

Tahni was di­ag­nosed with epilepsy about a year ago af­ter hav­ing ab­sence seizures and her con­di­tion has since es­ca­lated, af­fect­ing the ac­tive school­girl’s ev­ery­day life.

On Sun­day, chil­dren learnt more about epilepsy while also en­joy­ing a pur­ple Holi pow­der colour throw, face­paint­ing, crafts and pur­ple­coloured food.

Tahni’s mother Me­lanie John­ston said it was im­por­tant to raise epilepsy aware­ness be­cause the con­di­tion had such a big im­pact on ev­ery­one around a per­son with the con­di­tion.

“All her friends, they’ve been on just as much of a roller­coaster ride as Tahni be­cause they’re around when she has her seizures, so they’ve had to learn what to do when a seizure comes around,” she said.

“That’s why it was im­por­tant to raise aware­ness — be­cause it doesn’t just af­fect the per­son with epilepsy, it af­fects all their friends and fam­ily.”

Mrs John­ston said she had been “gob­s­macked” at peo­ple’s gen­eros­ity in vol­un­teer­ing their help and do­nat­ing funds to Tahni’s cause, al­low­ing them to raise about $1000 even be­fore Pur­ple Day.

Fam­ily friend and event or­gan­iser Ni­cole Kot said she had orig­i­nally planned a small morn­ing tea in the park with Tahni’s friends but it had snow­balled as more peo­ple asked how they could help.

“It was a good event to­day, so I think we’ll do it next year as well,” she said.

“Next year, I think it’ll be even big­ger.”

All money raised will go to­wards ad­vo­cacy and re­search group Epilepsy Ac­tion Aus­tralia.

Pic­tures: Ali­cia Per­era

Kar­ratha com­mu­nity mem­bers painted Cat­trall Park pur­ple for epilepsy aware­ness last Sun­day.

Cerys English, 10.

The crowd had a ball.

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