March 26, 2015

THE EPILEPSY AWARENESS SQUAD (EAS) is aiming to raise awareness in the Okanagan about Purple Day for Epilepsy. Purple Day was created by Megan Cassidy from Nova Scotia in 2008 and has gained worldwide acceptance. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about epilepsy internationally.

On March 26th, the EAS will be hosting an evening at The Sweet Tooth Café in Summerland. The event will include door prizes, an open mic for local talent and information on epilepsy. Participants are encouraged to wear purple to the event. The evening is planned as an awareness raising event rather than as a fundraiser (although there will be a donation jar on site). Shaw and Nixon wanted to have an event that would be open to all age groups. Local talent of all ages are invited to come and join in the open mic part of the evening. Mics and amps will be provided. Musicians are asked to bring their own instruments. Backing tracks are welcome as well.

Dan Nixon and Caitie Shaw are two Grade 11 students from Summerland Secondary. They are the co-founders of both the Epilepsy Awareness Squad and the Youth Empowerment Project. They created the Epilepsy Awareness Squad in 2013 after Caitie spent a week at BC Children’s Hospital for treatment of her epilepsy.

Dan recently had the honor of accepting the provincial Champions of Wellness Award in the category of Supporting Others and he is the 2015 winner of the United Nations Pilgrimage for Youth Speech Contest.

In 2014 Caitie was the recipient of the Canadian Living Me to We Youth in Action Award. Last November she gave a talk about her experiences living with epilepsy for TEDXKids BC.

The evening starts at 5pm on Thursday, March 26 at The Sweet Tooth Café 13211 Victoria Rd North in Summerland.

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