Nov. 1, 2012
November is national epilepsy month and the University of Minnesota football team, in conjunction with the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota and The Anita Kaufmann Foundation, will help raise awareness when it hosts the Go-pher Epilepsy Awareness game this Saturday against Michigan at TCF Bank Stadium.
Every four minutes someone is diagnosed with epilepsy, which is broadly defined by the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota as a spectrum of disorders with a range of severities, different seizure types, and varying impacts on people. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they have epilepsy, according to the foundation.
Saturday's contest will be the first college football game ever to bring awareness to epilepsy, which will affect one in 26 people during their lifetime. Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill is one of the 2.2 million people in the United States who suffers from seizures. His condition has been well-documented and on his weekly radio show last month he vowed to stand up for people who also suffer from epilepsy. Kill has been an advocate for epilepsy in the past and met with more than 100 kids and teens who have epilepsy this summer at Camp Oz in Hudson, Wis. Camp Oz is a summer camp that provides safe, educational and fun camping experience for youth with seizures.
The color purple, which is the international color of epilepsy, will be on prominent display this Saturday when the Gophers and Wolverines battle for The Little Brown Jug. Minnesota players will wear purple towels, wristbands and a decal on the back of their helmets. Gopher cheerleaders will use purple pompoms and members of the band will wear purple awareness ribbons.
Members of the Minnesota coaching staff and administration will also wear purple ribbons that are being made by coach Kill's wife, Rebecca. In addition, the first 20,000 fans in attendance will receive a rally towel that says, "Bring Back The Jug" and features logos for the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota and The Anita Kaufmann Foundation.
Members of the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota will be passing out the rally towels when fans enter TCF Bank Stadium. In addition, they will also be distributing seizure first aid cards and will also answer any questions that fans may have.
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