On March 26th, Jetts Gym in Epping, were doing their part in Purple Day to try and raise as much money for epilepsy.
To make things more interesting, gym manager Mark Eaton set a challenge to row the combined length of the Yarra River (242km) between us.
Mark also had prizes for most kilometres rowed in 30 minutes, most kilometres rowed overall, and best dressed — there was a purple theme — as an incentive to spark the competitiveness in his clients.
The general rule was to donate at least $10 per 30 minute row. And you could go for as many times as you want.
After a quiet first half to the day, I reminded Mark of the enormous task to which he replied “please don’t mention that” with a cheeky grin on his face.
Thankfully in the second half of the day, as school and work finished, more and more people streamed in to participate and the goal looked a little more achievable.
Although they could not quite get there — finishing on 224km — it was still an enjoyable day and very worthwhile raising $267 for the Epilepsy foundation.
Purple Day is an international public effort dedicated each year to increasing awareness about epilepsy right across the world.
For those who are unfamiliar, epilepsy is a chronic condition of the brain that includes having seizures that do not seem to have an obvious cause.
The condition is more common than one would think; roughly 50 million people have epilepsy worldwide, that’s approximately one in every 100 people. And in 50% of cases, the cause is unknown.
The most worrying thing is that there is still no known cure for epilepsy and that is exactly why there is a growing effort to increase awareness and raise money to help fund research so that hopefully one day a medication will be found.