22 Highlights From World Encephalitis Day 2020

World Encephalitis Day is over for another year! It was a hectic 48 hours or so which involved radio and TV interviews, newspaper articles, lots of red t-shirts – and even Shaun the Sheep and pals!

You may have missed some of the many highlights that took place, so we have decided to put them on a handy blog for you. Twenty two of them in total – because World Encephalitis Day was on the 22nd February – so it seemed a somewhat fitting number.

Please note that this is by no means an exhaustive list as there is still much to come and discover!

So… without further ado…

1. £2.6 million autoimmune encephalitis study

New treatments for autoimmune encephalitis will be investigated, thanks to a £2.6 million national study from the University of Liverpool and partners. Read the Blog

2. #RED4WED 

We asked if you were RED-y for World Encephalitis Day? You most definitely were! See #Red4WED photos from today on our Flickr account.

3. BrainWalk

This year's BrainWalk saw nearly 1,000 people and 185 teams complete 111,004,697 steps in total, walking to 14 different locations, including Zambia, Malawi, Russia, USA and more. Wow!


5. World Encephalitis Day Conference

The first ever World Encephalitis Day Conference was held in Dallas, Texas! We had around 80 attendees from five different countries and six different encephalitis organisations. We will have a full report for you in the coming days, but, in the meantime, here’s a picture of the different organisation representatives.

6. Encephalitis experts

For World Encephalitis Day, we asked experts in encephalitis to help us put together some films offering an overview of different aspects of encephalitis. There are films on chikungunya, infectious encephalitis, neuropsychiatry, paediatric encephalitis, LGI1 encephalitis, autoimmune encephalitis, HIV, Anti-NMDAR encephalitis, Tick-borne encephalitis and Herpes Simplex encephalitis.

7. We made an amazing gif of Ava's floaty #RED4WED hair


8. Writing and recovery

Susannah Cahalan, the author of Brain on Fire and The Great Pretender, reflects on how writing helped her during her recovery from encephalitis in a special World Encephalitis Day blog.

9. Theresa's story

At 27-years old, Theresa was fit, physically healthy, and loved yoga. When strange and unusual symptoms stumped her doctors, her family – and a well-known book – helped doctors identify she was experiencing brain inflammation due to encephalitis.

10. Lucy nailed it...

12. ... and she also shared her story

13. Wild ones!

Our Ambassador Alecia Emerson-Thomas and co-presenter Gillian Nair invited Ava onto their Wild Ones podcast. Check it out.

14. Zambia

These lovely people are from the University of Zambia School of Medicine in Lusaka and include Dr Benedict Michael and Dr Omar Siddiqi, both members of our Scientific Advisory Panel.

Omar and his team have also introduced the first ever Neurology Training Program in Zambia which we are extremely proud to be a part of.

Watch this film to find out more!

15. Rochelle's story

16. Doctor(s) Who

Dr Ava Easton and Professor Tom Solomon visited the HQ of the World Health Organization in Switzerland where they handed in a 27,000 signature petition calling for more awareness and action to be done around encephalitis.

17. Stebbin out

Around 100 people came out in support of Jackie Stebbins in Bismarck, North Dakota, on World Encephalitis Day. They joined Jackie, an autoimmune encephalitis survivor, on a Saturday morning walk to raise awareness.

18. Lisa shares her battle with encephalitis

Lisa went on Fox 26 in Houston to talk about her journey after LGI1 encephalitis.

19. Shaun the Sheep

Everyone’s favourite sheep had a #Red4WED party with his friends!

20. A penguin winds up Jon (and the communications coordinator)

Staying in the animal theme, our support coordinator Jon Ainley hatched a cunning plan to encourage supporters to take part in BrainWalk. It involved an uncooperative wind-up penguin and a message to BrainWalkers. It was also 20 minutes of my life I will never get back.

21. A World Encephalitis Day interview with Michele

Michele Buggins talks about her son, Ross, who was initially diagnosed with mental health issues before it was discovered he was poorly with encephalitis

22. A perfect end to a perfect day

Caitlin shared this with us on Twitter. This made us happy!

Thank you everyone for your support this World Encephalitis Day!

We still have more interviews and articles to come and, over the next week or so, will be trying to figure out the impact of all our efforts.

It has been a humbling few days – there have been so many amazing photos, films and stories of how encephalitis has had an impact personally or on a loved one.

We are very grateful that you are there to support us and events such as World Encephalitis Day – we could not do it without you!

With very best wishes,

Encephalitis International

Page Created: 20 October 2023
Last Modified: 6 December 2023
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