Hippocrates wrote, "Persons habituated to the disease know beforehand when they are about to be seized and flee from men; if their own house be at hand, they run home, but if not, to a deserted place, where as few persons as possible will [see] them, and they immediately cover themselves from shame of the [affliction]."
Connecticut Epilepsy Advocate, a nonprofit organization, was created by Fiore in November 2009 in large part to educate people about the condition, provide support and resources, and help erase the stigma often associated with epilepsy.
The first annual "Walking Miles for Epilepsy” in Connecticut - of which Fiore lead the walk, occurred Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010. Fiore began his solo walk down U.S. Route 1 at the Housatonic River, walking 10 miles to the University of New Haven. Fiore said, "The whole idea was to let people know about the organization and let them know we are here."
To that end, Fiore submitted postings to public access channels, and posted the information on the Connecticut Epilepsy Advocate Web site, ct-ea.org Fiore hopes to make this an annual event and involve more people, whether they want to walk 500 feet or five miles for epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that from time to time produces brief disturbances in the normal electrical functions of the brain. Epilepsy affects more than 50 million people in the world, more than three million in the United States, and approximately 60,000 in Connecticut. Fiore, diagnosed with epilepsy at nine months old, has had hundreds of epileptic seizures throughout his life.
"It is difficult for many people who suffer from epilepsy to live a normal life," he said. "After I'd regain consciousness following a seizure, I'd be out for the rest of the day because of all the excruciating head pain and the toll it would take on me.”In some cases", Fiore continued, "it's hard for a person to get a job or have a relationship. It's tough on young people because kids will see kids with epilepsy have a seizure and often they won't want to touch them or have anything to do with them."
Fiore has been free of seizures for the past three years through a combination of prescription medicine and a temporal lobotomy, a surgical procedure in which a cut is made to the place in the left temporal lobe that triggers seizures.
Now, Robert Fiore supports and invites people of all ages to wear Purple to raise awareness for Epilepsy. On March 26th, a global day designated to raising awareness of epilepsy, is critical to help change the long term outcome of isolation and stigma for child.
The Epilepsy Durham Region, along with other organizations, schools, businesses, political figures and celebrities in countries around the world will also be wearing the color purple to support Purple Day for Epilepsy. Fiore said, "We at Connecticut Epilepsy Advocate are going to do everything we can to erase the stigma of epilepsy by helping to inform people about epilepsy, and provide support in any way we can."
Join and support – wear Purple on March 26th, 2011 and raise awareness to support those with Epilepsy on Purple Day with Robert Fiore – the face behind Connecticut Epilepsy Advocate. For more information, visit http://www.ct-ea.org/.