Rhinelander spreads epilepsy awareness on Purple Day - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Rhinelander spreads epilepsy awareness on Purple Day

RHINELANDER (WAOW) - The color purple owned the day Wednesday in the Rhinelander School District.

Students and teachers celebrated International Purple Day with bracelets, ribbons and purple clothing.

It took some work to add a splash of color to the day.

"Our students made posters," special education teacher Shelley Lehman said. "They put ribbons together and we also sold purple bracelets as a fundraiser."

International Purple Day promotes epilepsy awareness. In Rhinelander, they were supporting one of their own.

The school got decked out in purple thanks to first grade teacher Kara Houg.

"Eli, my brother, grew up in this district and so he was one of the only students that really had students and teachers to really know what that means and to not be afraid of it," Houg said.

She says the show of support from the district means a lot to her family and especially to her brother, Eli Wakely.

"It just makes him feel important, because where he understands it at his level, it's just knowing that, 'Wow, people know who I am and care about me,'" said Houg.

District Nurse Kerri Schmidt knows the power that Purple Day holds for children like him.

"It's always good for people to have an awareness of any chronic illness so that way they don't have to be fearful or think that it's contagious, because you cannot catch it," Schmidt said.

Purple Day is a way for students to grasp what children with epilepsy go through.

"You learn from different things like they have different needs and you have different needs," tenth grader Tim Falbeb said. "They need stuff more than you do and you have to help them out a lot."

Teachers say children with epilepsy have both trouble-free days and days where they struggle.

Students say wearing a ribbon makes them feel like they're making a difference and that they hope a cure can be found one day.

According to teachers, the bracelet sales raised more than $100.
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