Epilepsy can shake the foundations of any family or community. This past weekend was dedicated to epilepsy awareness, in the city, so the commemorative colour purple was seen in all kinds of places. One of the most prominent was at Bliss Coffee, which is a little shop that made a big impact on behalf of this important medical condition.
For proprietor Jas Sabberwal, it’s a personal cause as much as a societal one. Someone close to him suffered from it, until it took their life at a staggeringly early age, on top of lifelong spinoff medical complications and other suffering rooted back to the seizures that could never be fully controlled.
“And I’ve known others, too, in my life. I think we all do,” said Sabberwal. “We’ve been doing this for a number of years and we’ve been blessed to raise a decent amount of money over time for this important cause.”
Sabberwal got involved in Quesnel’s this cause because he got approached by a local epilepsy champion, Natasha Wasmuth, the founder of epilepsyQuesnel, and he felt inspiration when it reminded him of his loved one gone too soon. Her simple message is “epilepsy can affect anyone with a brain; anyone with a brain can affect epilepsy.”
“She does awesome work in Quesnel, we’re very lucky to have her, and I stand with what she’s doing,” he said, and added that Quesnel Bakery was another business he admired for also being involved. There are more, he knows, and thanked them all.
So the coffee and tea was free at Bliss, on Friday (March 31). Customers were asked to pay by donation into a jar, with all money destined for epilepsy designations. Music act Spencer Holmes & The Scattered Mind joined in and donated a performance at Bliss to add impact to the charity being done there.
“I have a customer base that’s very generous and they are very supportive,” Sabberwal said, after 14 years in business (and 26 years residing in Quesnel). “It’s a blessing to be a part of a community like this. You feel like you owe back to the community, when they support you and your causes like they always have for me, and when I die I just want to look back and know I helped people along the way.”
Many other events took place this past week in support of epilepsy awareness, most visually noticeable was the lighting up of the walking bridge in purple light on March 26. You can help anytime, or ask questions, by emailing email@example.com.