Purple Day is a Shining Example of How WE Can Change Health Care


My friend, 10-year-old Cassidy Megan, has epilepsy. A couple of years ago, Cassidy was afraid to tell people because she thought they would make fun of her. Then one day her class listened to a presentation about epilepsy, and Cassidy realized she wanted to help other kids with epilepsy know they were not alone. She founded Purple Day, an international effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy.

I’m proud to be a part of Purple Day for two reasons. First, I am a huge admirer of the strength of this young girl who wanted to make a difference. When I spoke at the Purple Day Launch Party earlier this month (watch the video below), I was amazed at what she had accomplished. The Launch Party was full of celebrities who had taken up her cause, and I felt the admiration of the crowd and watched the excitement grow.

Second, Cassidy’s efforts represent another movement that’s making health care policy makers take notice. For most of my adult life, health care has been a one-way street. Doctors would give us patients instructions and medications, and we would go home and do what they said. But, with the help of our cyber resources, leading voices like Cassidy are educating themselves about their own health care concerns. Patients are now engaged and empowered to have a voice in their own health care. And some patients are engaged to the point of activism, speaking up and spurring change to the issues that matter most to them. Today, like never before, one voice like Cassidy’s voice can resonate around the world.

With Cassidy’s efforts, epilepsy will never be the same. I join the DrGreene community in showing our support by wearing purple and spreading her message.

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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