14 th FEBRUARY – NOT ONLY VALENTINE`S DAY
You do not have to love them. It is enough if you notice them…
14th February is not only Valentine’s Day, but also European Epilepsy Day.
Saint Valentine is the patron saint of people with epilepsy.
‘Notice me’ is the national campaign of different associations for people with epilepsy from throughout Poland.
It was launched on 14th 2009 in the form of an event in Warsaw.
The campaign has been joined by the following associations:
- Polish Association of People Suffering from Epilepsy division in Sławno – the main author and organizer of the campaign,
- Polish Association of People Suffering from Epilepsy division in Lublin,
- Association of people with epilepsy and their friends “Spokojna głowa” from Warsaw,
- Ola Leśniewska Foundation from Piaseczno,
- Support group Epi from Łódź,
- Epilepsy Association from Gdańsk,
- Association of People with Epilepsy and their friends “Piast’ from Gdańsk
- Association of People with Epilepsy and a Disability and their friends “Koniczynka” from Poznań,
- TacyJakJa.pl- social portal for the people with chronic diseases
Since 2009, always on 14 February, the Day of People with Epilepsy, the associations mentioned above organize events. They are represented by people with epilepsy, their family members and friends. During these activities special ‘Valentine cards’ are distributed, that include information about epilepsy. If you want, you can also receive special ‘Valentine’ stickers, which are a symbol of solidarity with people with epilepsy. It is our goal that all the leaflets stand out from Valentine decorations. We want to ‘send’ to society a special ‘Valentine’s card’- the information about the day of people with epilepsy.
The aim of the campaign is to draw the attention of society and the mass media to the needs of people who suffer from epilepsy. We want to make everybody aware of the fact that people with epilepsy need to be understood and accepted. Another goal is to educate people on how to behave when you witness a seizure. A lot of people are still unaware of the symptoms and do not know how to react in such a situation. Due to uncontrolled seizures and lack of public understanding, a large number of people with epilepsy and their carers are forced to resign from their studies, jobs, family, and dreams..
Our campaign (which thanks to the help of several institutions, companies and ordinary people, is growing), shows that people with epilepsy are able to a lead normal social life if they feel accepted and properly treated.
In 2010, to make our campaign more visible to the public, we launched new actions -promotional spots shown in Multikino cinemas, preparing the website http://zauwazmnie.org./ and shooting an educational film.
In 2011 the campaign gained the new event – Nordic Walking march. The motto of the march was “Notice me – walk healthy”. The people with epilepsy, their families and friends as well as many people who identify themselves with the idea of the campaign, took part in the event.
The participants set off on 14th February from Sławno to reach the finish on 26th February in Warsaw, after covering 460 kilometres. In every town on our route we tried to make people interested in our campaign and invited inhabitants to join us – at least by walking in their town.
In 2012 ‘Notice me’ campaign will be also strongly connected with Nordic Walking march. The slogan is the same too : ‘Notice me. Walk healthy.” This year, the participants will have to cover a 400-kilometre distance from Częstochowa to Grudziądz . People with epilepsy, as well as people who want to draw attention to the needs of peole with epilepsy will take part in the march. During two weeks they will visit about 13 towns where they will carry out educational campaigns outdoors. The aim is to enhance all the Nordic Walking lovers to join the march. The final will take place in Grudziądz on 25th February.
This year’s campaign “Notice me. Walk healthy” has been organized for the fourth time and the Nordic Walking march – for the second time. The press and television are becoming more and more interested in each subsequent year. TV coverage has been shown in the main news programmes: Wiadomości, Teleexpress, Info Dziennik and Panorama. Thanks to such thorough publicity, the people with epilepsy were helped. This year, like always, we are also planning a wide information campaign.
We invite everybody to join our initiative.
President of the District Division of the Polish Association of People Suffering from Epilepsy in Sławno