22 Highlights from World Encephalitis Day 2023

World Encephalitis Day is over for another year!

This was our 10th World Encephalitis Day and perhaps the most complex yet, involving a media campaign which covered several times zones. At the end of the day, it was a triumph!

Due to your wonderful efforts, we truly did shine a light on encephalitis through interviews, by lighting up landmarks and going #Red4WED. And, for that, we say THANK YOU to every single one of you.

To celebrate a job well done, we have put together a list of 22 highlights from this year’s World Encephalitis Day. We hope you enjoy!

1. #Red4WED

We asked – and did you deliver! Social media on World Encephalitis Day truly went #Red4WED and it was all down to you and your generous efforts. Thank you!

Enjoy this selection of photos – and keep reading to see more fun images from the day.

2. New research

This year’s World Encephalitis Day began with the publication of two new pieces of ground-breaking research investigating the mental health impact of encephalitis.

By talking about this to newspaper reporters, radio and television stations, our aim has been to shine a light on the fact that these feelings can be preventable and, in most cases, highly treatable.

Find out more:

National Tribune (Australia) Planet Radio (UK) Hindustan Times (India)

3. The Encephalitis Podcast

Our CEO, Dr Ava Easton, hosted an episode of The Encephalitis Podcast where she spoke to the lead authors of the research papers, Dr Jesus Ramirez-Bermudez and Dr Thomas Pollak.

Available on all good podcast channels, you can also watch this episode and read their research by visiting our Encephalitis Podcast page.


4. Interviews... interviews... and yet more interviews

Our media delivery for World Encephalitis Day involved nearly 50 interviews with reporters in the Philippines, UK, USA, Canada, Germany, India, Mexico and Australia. As our Australian friends say: strewth!

Leading the charge was our very own CEO Dr Ava Easton who had a timetable which would make anyone weep! Thankfully, her interview workload was eased with the help of several experts around the world.

5. Radio Ga Ga

Listen to Ava’s interview with Siren FM:

6. Mental Health and encephalitis

As we were talking about mental health and encephalitis during World Encephalitis Day, we put together the following animation and lots more information. Worth checking out!

7. Where the magic happens...

Enjoy this short tour of Encephalitis Internationals offices. Fun fact: Most of the team were fuelled by caffeine and sugar during their 15-hour WED shifts.

8. World Health Organization

Linking up with World Encephalitis Day, our friends at the WHO published an important document called Why Encephalitis Matters – this is the latest step in our ongoing mission to tackle the global impact of encephalitis. There will be more to come in the coming months and years! Watch this space.

9. You can trust me… I’m a Dog-tor

If there is one way guaranteed to make Encephalitis International team go all mushy inside, it’s a picture of a dog. The mushiness is dialled up to 11 if the dogs go #Red4WED.

Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy our fabulous photographs of our doggy pals (and one cat).

10. Trendy

#WorldEncephalitisDay trending on Twitter. Could it be true? There were – literally – whoops of joy in the office which is really saying something when you are British.

11. By George

We love this… and it includes a pun (double win!)

12. The power of music

“When I was stuck in hospital, my Dad and I used to sing it when I was allowed to go for a short walk or in the wheelchair because all I wanted to do was go home!” – Anna Gilchrist

We asked you to tell us what songs mean the most to you in your encephalitis journey and you responded! What came across was the power of music to help recovery and inspire.

Anna chose the superb: We Gotta Get Outta This Place by The Animals.

Listen to your World Encephalitis Day Spotify playlist

13. Iram's Story

The following film is of 16-year-old Iram who was affected by encephalitis when she was 12. Encephalitis left Iram with severe epilepsy, and she has faced many challenges, in her social and school life.

Iram found comfort in music, family and making friends at the Encephalitis Family weekend. Watch this video to see how Iram faced her challenges with courage:

14. Light up a Landmark

A whopping 249 landmarks in 29 countries lit up red for World Encephalitis Day – smashing our pre-WED targets! Thank you so much to everyone who got involved and approached the right authorities in their respective towns and cities. We could NOT have achieved this without you!

The above video below submitted by Dr Priscilla Rupali and shows Christian Medical College in Vellore, India.

See all the other landmarks which went #RED4WED

15. Free Clinic

Not only did our friends at the Department of Neurology at West China Hospital in Sichuan light up their institute red, they also held a free clinic for encephalitis patients on World Encephalitis Day. Thank you, Professor Zhou and Professor Hong!

16. Let's be Frank

This is the fabulous Frank who lives in Montreal.

17. BrainWalk

Our fabulous BrainWalkers still have a few days left of their February step challenge for World Encephalitis Day. At the time of writing, our 431 BrainWalkers have completed (takes a deep breath) 48,121,683 steps! What an amazing feet!

18. Making friends

Not only did Alanna – the author of the Where Are My Pillows blog – brave the freezing weather in Edmonton, Canada, to go and see the High Level Bridge, ProCura WSP Place, Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, and Edmonton House light up red, she also made a new friend…

19. Rachael...

Rachael Schwarz, from Perth, Australia, became poorly with herpes simplex encephalitis in January, 2019. Since then, she has become a tireless advocate for encephalitis awareness, helping to build an encephalitis community in the city, and is the chief mastermind behind Perth turning #Red4WED.

This year, with the support of her friends and her colleagues at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet of Western Australia, she has organised the lighting up of 17 landmarks in Perth and held a gathering outside the Optus Stadium.

The Department of the Premier also put together the above film which they have generously shared it with us.

Thank you, Rachael!

The Department of the Premier and Cabinet of Western Australia also put together this film which includes our Ambassador, Karen Tighe, and other supporters Elizabeth, Toni, Graham, Bev, Renee, and Ian

20. Virtually speaking

The conversation flowed at our special World Encephalitis Day virtual gathering. This was a chance for 24 supporters from as far afield as Canada and India to come together, enjoy each other’s company, and talk about World Encephalitis Day. The highlights included being joined by Eric from Kenya who told us he had never met anyone recovering from encephalitis before and Freya who joined us live from outside the #Red4WED Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire.

If you would like to join virtual gatherings in the future, please visit our website.

21. Piccadilly Do Lally

One of the landmarks to go #Red4WED was the big screen at Piccadilly Circus in London. To raise awareness among Londoners, we put together a film featuring our supporters. These were the scenes when it went live – and features a word from our CEO, Ava.

22. So long, farewell and adieu…

Finally, we will leave you with the film that was shown on the big screen at Piccadilly Circus in London on Wednesday night as part of our Light up a Landmark #Red4WED campaign. The film featured some of our members from London who we want to thank again for taking part in the film.

Enjoy – and on behalf of everyone at Encephalitis International – THANK YOU so much for everything that you do!

Page Created: 23 November 2023
Last Modified: 5 December 2023
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