Natalie GreenThe Purple Dash 5k is an annual event hosted and supported by the Green Family through our nonprofit, whose mission it is to create, discover and promote awareness of local programs for anyone who challenges their cognitive or physical restrictions from a disability.

Our inspiration for this event is our daughter Natalie, who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy (due to an in-utero left hemiplegic stroke) when she was eight months old. Natalie has had daily seizures that were only partially controlled with diet and medication. In July 2011 she underwent a Pediatric Peri-Insular Hemispherotomy at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City. She successfully completed a one-year monitoring period to gain a seizure-free diagnosis.

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects 1-2% of the population, or a little over three million Americans of all ages. It is characterized by a sudden burst of energy in the brain (comparable to an electrical storm), causing a seizure. It’s estimated that 3 million people have epilepsy in the United States. That number includes approximately 18,000 people in Utah and 52,000 who live here in the Intermountain West.

The mortality rate of people with Epilepsy is 2-3 times higher than the general population, and the risk of sudden death is 24 times greater. Federal dollars on research pale in comparison to those spent on other diseases.

Each year we host our run on the first Saturday of November to coincide with and promote National Epilepsy Awareness Month #NEAM. We advocate for better understanding of Epilepsy and seizures, and provide instructions and giveaways for what to do if you see a seizure. We also promote a more active lifestyle for anyone through participation in our 5K run/walk.

Proceeds from the race go towards epilepsy awareness programs in or serving Utah. We select to work with certain foundations to accomplish this goal.