Health Minister, ‘Blue Waves’ go purple in support of Lacey Huyler

Star of the Show - St. Anne's School fifth grader Lacey Huyler who lives with epilepsy. The youngster was the impetus behind the school observing World Epilepsy Day, Tuesday (March 26, 2019). World Health Organization statistics indicate that there are almost 50 million persons living with epilepsy globally. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Duane E.L. Sands joined administrators, staff and students of St. Anne’s School as they went purple Tuesday in support of Grade 5 student Lacey Huyler’s push for nation-wide celebrations of World Epilepsy Day. World Epilepsy Day is celebrated annually on March 26. The day has become known as “Purple Day” and people globally are encouraged to wear the colour in order to increase awareness of epilepsy.  Administrators, staff and students at the school all wore purple during a Special “Purple Day” Assembly Tuesday.

Lacey Huyler lives with epilepsy. Her goal is to spread epilepsy awareness throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. “I have seizures a lot and many times I do not remember what happens after a seizure,” Miss Huyler told classmates and students. “It is hard to be happy sometimes, but I know that my family loves me even though I have epilepsy. I wish someone could find a cure for this disease because I do not enjoy having seizures. There are over 30 types of seizures and sometimes I feel like I have most of them. I am happy to be alive and I like my school because they always look out for me. I wish The Bahamas would join the rest of the world in recognizing March 26, as World Epilepsy Day,” Miss Huyler added.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Epilepsy is a condition of the brain that causes repeated seizures, or changes, in normal brain activity.  There are many different kinds of Epilepsy and many types of seizures that can affect persons in different ways, for example, shaking, staring, falling, or even loss of memory. Some persons can take medication to help control their seizures, but medication does not always work for everyone.  Scientists are actively researching causes and treatments for epilepsy, so that those with the condition can have some relief. W.H.O statistics indicate that almost 50million persons live with epilepsy globally.

Dr. Sands, said although Epilepsy can occur at any age, children and the elderly are often most affected. Dr. Sands, who was invited to participate in the Special Assembly by Miss Huyler, applauded Lacey for her strength of character in being a “confident champion for your cause.” “Today we are adorned in purple for epilepsy awareness. The color purple represents nobility, creativity, power, calm, and ambition? These words can be used when describing Miss Lacey Huyler, who at her young age is making a difference. “Lacey, it is awesome to see how passionate you are about ensuring your peers become more knowledgeable about Epilepsy. You show them every day at school that people with epilepsy are strong, driven and deserve love, gentleness and support.  I encourage you to continue to be a confident champion for your cause, like your school motto says, ‘Dei Gratia – By the Grace of God.’”

Dr. Sands also took the opportunity to encourage the St. Anne’s School family to develop healthy practices. “As the Minister of Health, I want to encourage all of you to take care of yourselves.   All of you here are young and full of potential.  Develop healthy practices now.  Eat well, lots of colourful fruits and vegetables, less junk like chips and sweets.  Exercise more than just going to Physical Education classes.  Watch less television, play less video games, and go outside more. “Play safely and avoid injuries, especially to the head.  Drink more water, have less soda and juice, and get enough sleep every night.  In the years to come we want to have less cases of Diabetes, Heart Attacks, Cancer and Epilepsy in our country.  We want the people of The Bahamas to be extremely healthy and in the best state of overall well-being, so we need you all on board from now.  You are not too young to make a difference. “Now that you at St. Anne’s have gone purple, it is up to you to continue the conversation about Epilepsy and provide the correct information about the condition to those who may not know.  Go Purple!  Spread Epilepsy Awareness!”

Administrators, staff and students of St. Anne’s School observed World Epilepsy Day on Tuesday (March 26, 2019) with a Special Purple Day Assembly in support of Lacey Huyler, a fifth grade student who lives with epilepsy. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Duane E.L. Sands addressing students of St. Anne’s School Tuesday, March 26, during the Special Purple Day Assembly held in observance of World Epilepsy Day. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

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