Brian's Epilepsy Fundraiser

By Brian Pulling

Make March Purple!

I've got to be honest with you all... I had hoped to start this fundraiser much sooner. As tends to happen, the fundraising website had some technical difficulties, but we're going to give it a go and see what we can do!

March 26th is "Purple Day". In 2008, a young girl in Canada decided she wanted to raise awareness about epilepsy, so she coined Purple Day (purple is the colour for epilepsy awareness...I don't know why but it is so lets just move on).

Now, a bit more backstory for you - typically, November is Epilepsy Awareness Month...or is it October...but there is a lot to be aware about, so we've added the 26th of March to help things along. Single day fundraisers seem like a challenge, so I'm going to stretch this out for a week.

1 in 26 people will have a seizure at some point in their lives. I don't know about you, but I know way more than 26 people (I'm very popular)!

Seizures aren't contagious, but they can be life-threatening. Given how serious they can be, it could save a life if you learn a couple basics about epilepsy! Here's one to get started: It's impossible to swallow your tongue, so if you see someone having a seizure, DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN THEIR MOUTH!

Now with that all said and done, I'll be back tomorrow with more facts. Go donate a couple bucks to the Epilepsy Foundation (or your local epilepsy foundation if you're not Australian!)

I've attached a photo of a majestic dog basking in the sunlight - I know it's irrelevant, but it's damn cute. Clearly a supporter of epilepsy awareness and activism. Would donate if had a credit card

My Updates

Things are getting out of hand

Tuesday 23rd Mar
Purple week is going better than I could have imagined. Writing these blogs is challenging, but whatever I've been doing seems to be working so I'll stick with the facts and animal photos.

I've now committed to running 45km and dye my hair purple. I'm blown away by the generosity and compassion of friends and strangers in supporting my campaign, so with that in mind, I'm going to set a wild and crazy goal. If you all donate a total of AUD$1000, I will have committed to running 90km. On top of that, I will cycle 900km (though to be honest, I'll probably do it largely indoors on the trainer). Purple hair and exercise are just about all I can think to offer, but if you have any ideas please send them my way.

Purple Day is Friday the 26th, but I think the Epilepsy Foundation will be keeping the fundraisers open until the end of the month, so tell your friends!

Now for the fact:
In much of the world, even today, people still believe that having epilepsy is caused by being possessed by the devil. I'm not kidding, that's a real thing. In reality, seizures are caused by electrical activity in the brain, and in my case, the Brian! Electrical activity is normal, it's how all of our brains work, but during a seizure, there is more electrical activity than normal. Medications can help with this, as can other strategies like exercise, reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and avoiding things that trigger seizures (for some people, this means avoiding flashing lights).

Epilepsy seems overwhelming and even frightening, but it's really quite straightforward. Learning about it can help people who have epilepsy feel more comfortable and safe.

Yesterday, I used the phrase "people with epilepsy" rather than "epileptic". I have found that when people say "Brian is an epileptic" or something to that effect, it feels bad because that term defines me only by my epilepsy. Whereas, if you call me a "person with epilepsy", the epilepsy comes second. This certainly doesn't bother everyone, but it can make a world of difference to someone who is figuring out how to cope with the stress that epilepsy brings.

This photo is a big ol turtle I saw a couple weeks ago.

Day 3

Monday 22nd Mar
Happy purple week everyone! Day three of my fundraiser, and we've already more than doubled my goal, which is lovely, but also presents a problem because as I've previously mentioned, I am not nearly in good enough shape to run this much. Oh well, not only are y'all going to support people with epilepsy, you're also going to force me to exercise.

If you haven't donated yet, and you're on the fence, perhaps I can offer some encouragement. 65 million people around the world have epilepsy. People with epilepsy (notice I didn't say "epileptics" there...a story for another day) have a 2-3 times greater risk of death over the general population. So we need to study it, find better treatments, and help some folks out!

I've had a bunch of seizures this year, which is partly why I'm so amped up about fundraising this year. I don't know why I've started having more seizures, might have something to do with the stress we've all been feeling this year...but I do know that I have some specific ways that I manage it. In case you're curious, I can tell you a bit more about myself, but if you're not curious, just go donate and get back to your day.

I have "tonic-clonic" seizures. This refers to the type of movements I make during a seizure, first very stiff, then sort of shaky. These are usually the kinds depicted in movies. No idea why I have them and others don't, but it means I take medication, I don't drink alcohol, and I don't drive. Pretty straightforward if you ask me. I've been very fortunate. I was diagnosed quickly, and found medication that worked for me right away. That was more than 10 years ago, but some people aren't as fortunate. The Epilepsy Foundation helps Australians with all kinds of issues that arise because of epilepsy - finding doctors, accessing support services for work and school, supporting research, offering first aid training to the public - a damn fine organisation if I've ever seen one. If you're not Australian, your country might have an support service too, in the US, it's called the Epilepsy Foundation too! Feel free to ignore my fundraiser and go donate to your local organisation, they need help too!

Anyway, I'm just about finished with my coffee so I'd better get going with my Monday. If you've donated or are thinking about donating, I just want to say thank you. It's been a hard year for everyone, and your support means so much to me personally. Epilepsy can be scary and frustrating, but I'm lucky to have encountered so much love and support.

I've got to get running!

Well hot dang!

Sunday 21st Mar
I'm no expert fundraiser by any stretch - but hot dang! You've all blown way past my fundraising goal! Perhaps I set it too low...certainly, I should have set the "I will dye my hair"-bar a bit higher...but oh well! It's purple time! Here we go!

I just checked the label on the dye I bought and if I use it today, my hair won't be purple on the 26th, and isn't that really what all this is about? So I'll hold off a few days and keep you updated.

In the mean time, what else can I offer you in exchange for your about this: We're already at $154, so how about, for every  $50 raised going forward, I'll bike or run 5 kilometers. Now, that might not sound like a lot to some of you, but keep in mind, last week my apple watch told me I have "low cardiovascular health" so take that!

And now, in this second blog of "Purple Week", an epilepsy fact to make you more aware about epilepsy. Epilepsy isn't one thing. There are lots of different types, and it can affect people in lots of different ways. Not everyone is affected by flashing lights, for example.

Now, if you're curious about how you can help someone having a seizure, Star Trek stars Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto will explain:

(photo is Humphrey, my fish)

Thank you to my Sponsors


Jules And Dave

Can’t wait to see you looking ripped with purple hair very soon Brian



Get pedaling Brian! I love you!




Matthew Shear

Proud to call you my friend, Brian! Keep doing great things



Love you, Bri!


Tasha Stanton

Run, run, run, my friend!




Tracy Jones



looking forward to seeing your purple hair!


Angela Leonardo

I love you



You are unstoppable!


Brian Pulling


Erin Mac

Thanks for your advocacy Brian, can't wait to see the purple hair!


Carlie Altmann


Elle Welsby


Brendan Mouatt

Great job Brian!


Millie Mardon




Thanks for sharing info and raising awareness Brian. Happy purple-haired riding!


Caitlin Howlett

Can’t wait to see you rocking the purple hair B!



You are awesome!


Anna Vogelzang


Kristina Comacchio



go you!