Re­mov­ing epilepsy stigma

South Waikato News - - Farming - LUKE KIRKEBY

Epilepsy is of­ten re­ferred to as a hidden dis­abil­ity and of­ten those af­fected do just that.

But the Toko­roa Epilepsy Group is aim­ing to change things by en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to at­tend its meet­ing on Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 19 at Cre­ative Arts in Bridge St from 10.30am.

The group’s spokesper­son Barry De Lisle, who has epilepsy him­self, said there is no pres­sure put on any­one who at­tends the free friendly get to­gether.

He said Waikato Char­i­ta­ble Trust Epilepsy Ad­vi­sor Maria Lowe will also be there of­fer­ing ad­vice if peo­ple want it.

‘‘This is the sec­ond year we have been run­ning it and it is about try­ing to let epilep­tic peo­ple know that there are other peo­ple out there who know what they are go­ing through,’’ he said.

South Waikato Achieve­ment Trust team leader Rachael Camp­bell, who is in­di­rectly in­volved, said peo­ple from all walks of life were wel­come to at­tend, in­clud­ing em­ploy­ers and fam­ily mem­bers of peo­ple with epilepsy.

‘‘The im­por­tant thing to let peo­ple know is that they can carry on with epilepsy and be part of so­ci­ety be­cause there is a sigma at­tached that once they have a seizer they are not seen the same,’’ she said.

Camp­bell said as more peo­ple ed­u­cate them­selves about epilepsy and what to ex­pect the eas­ier it will be for those with epilepsy to carry on with life.

LUKE KIRKEBY/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Toko­roa Epilepsy Group spokesper­son Barry De Lisle.

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