Turning the town purple for Diane
Diane Elaine was my younger sister. 10 years younger. She loved dancing, music and crafts.
It’s been a little over 13 years now since our family lost her to SUDEP.
I really wanted to do something to raise awareness about SUDEP and Purple Day (26 March) was a chance to do it in my local town of Heathfield, East Sussex.
Initially, I delivered letters two weeks in advance of purple day to all the shop keepers in Heathfield explaining my idea and reasons behind it. I then returned, the week before Purple day, and the shop keepers started decorating their windows purple and nearly all the shops put up a #Heathfieldisgoingpurple poster.
On the actual day, I went into town with my son, Tom and put purple SUDEP balloons up everywhere and put up #PurpleDay2017 posters on post boxes, bus shelters lamp posts etc. The purple display looked wonderful.
My town of Heathfield did not disappoint and I was in awe of the spirit of the residents. Our local MP Huw Merriman, also supported and tweeted about #PurpleDay2017. It was amazing to see everyone taking part.
Raising awareness like this, means so much. If it helps save one life, and stop another family from losing a child or sibling as I did, it’s working. Many shop keepers in Heathfield were amazed at the amount of people asking about SUDEP and asking to donate to the charity. Turning my town of Heathfield Purple really worked in raising awareness.