Well, there we have it - World Encephalitis Day is over for another year!

It was a hang-on-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-and-drink-lots-of-caffeine kinda 48 hours for the team at the Encephalitis Society. There were so many different moving parts to juggle, from media interviews through to lighting up #Red4WED landmarks, organising photographers and managing social media.

The response this year has sincerely blown us away and made all the hard work worthwhile.

THANK YOU to each and everyone of you who has come out to raise awareness of encephalitis and gone #Red4WED - it means the world to all of us and shows what can be achieved when we all come together.

We have put together a list of 22 highlights of World Encephalitis Day. We hope you enjoy! 

1. A live concert with Aliki

Aliki Chrysochou, our ambassador, entertained us with a special World Encephalitis Day concert. You can watch it on Facebook

2. Oxford Autoimmune Neurology Group

Dr Christopher Uy is a Clinical Research Fellow with the Oxford Autoimmune Neurology Group. He is also a talented videographer and together with his research colleagues, including Professor Sarosh Irani, put together this film which explores what happens when a patient is admitted to John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, with autoimmune encephalitis.

Fun and interesting - it gives you an idea of just how many experts care for a patient and also tackles bigger questions leading to insights and discoveries about the causes of these diseases.

3. Acrobatics

Speaking of Christopher - he is also a talented acrobat!

4. Hot steppers

BrainWalkers completed a whopping 68,931,808 steps, visited 22 locations and played thousands of games.

The top team was Max’s Marvellous Marchers with 14,448,062 steps and top individual BrainWalker was HannahB who walked a frankly mind boggling 2,284,600 steps.

5. Zambia's first ever home-grown neurologists show their support

6. Barbara illuminates Blackpool

We have to give a special mention to Barbara who, at 97 years young, must be the oldest person to take a #Red4WED photo on Monday. She enjoyed a day out to Blackpool with her son, David.

7. A high five for WED

This is Gabe and Andy who did a special High Five for World Encephalitis Day. Find out more about this lovely story.

8. To Olivia

To Olivia is a Sky Original Film about Roald Dahl (Hugh Bonneville) and his wife Patricia Neal (Keeley Hawes) whose lives are turned upside down by the devastating death of their daughter from measles encephalitis. Our CEO Dr Ava Easton wrote a blog and interviewed the director and producer for The Encephalitis Podcast.

9. Hugh knew about World Encephalitis Day

10. Karen's radio interview

Karen Tighe is an Australian broadcaster on ABC. In this radio interview, she reflects on falling ill with encephalitis and the journey she is undertaking to recover her words and memories. Further articles can be found here.

11. Lighting up landmarks for WED

Before the weekend, we thought we'd just reach our target of 75 landmarks. By the end of World Encephalitis Day, that figure reached around 150. Crikey! Click on the image below to see lots more pictures.

#Red4WED landmarks

12. The Beard of War

Harry Harding was just one of several supporters who held a World Encephalitis Day fundraiser for us. Harry is a gamer - his handle is The Beard of War - and did a 12 hour livestream for his fiancée, Tami, who is recovering from encephalitis. In the following clip, Harry talks about our Trustee and fellow gamer, Dave Smith, and is also joined by an (if we do say it ourselves) extra special guest. Find out more about Harry and Tami's story

13. Speaking of beards... 

The Bearded Villains came out en masse during World Encephalitis Day in support of George, a youngster from Scotland who is recovering from viral encephalitis. 

George's mum, Amy, said: "One of our friends, Neil, is a member of the Scottish group. When me and my son were in hospital we did a fundraiser to replenish the toy cupboard where kids are given things to keep their spirits up. We aimed for £200 and ended up with £1200, thanks to friends, family and, of course, the Bearded Villains. Neil put the word out and we received donations from brothers all over the world. So naturally they were keen to take part in #Red4WED knowing George is making a great recovery. They are truly amazing."

Maybe they should change their name to Bearded Very Nice Chaps?

14. Boxing clever

We can always count on our professional members to come up trumps for us during World Encephalitis Day. This is Professor Tom Solomon and Dr Benedict Michael outside The Liver Building in Liverpool.*
And, yes, this will be a caption competition in the next edition of our newsletter.

*No health professionals were harmed in the making of this photo.

15. Gemma's Story

This came out of the blue from Gemma who shared a vlog about her journey with encephalitis. We urge you to watch.

16. Morph

No words needed :-)

17. Jackie's interview 

Jackie Stebbins, from North Dakota, talks to her local television station about World Encephalitis Day in this interview which one may even describe as sanguine. 

18. The music sounds better with you

We put together a Spotify playlist - find out more about why the songs were chosen.

19. A Zoom with a View

The COVID-19 pandemic did not stop us from going #Red4WED

20. Jamesy O'Kane plays a concert for World Encephalitis Day

Jamesy O'Kane and his cousin, Naomi, organised a concert in support of their gran, Bridie, who is recovering from encephalitis. If you like Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Don Henley and more.. check out his Facebook concert.

21. Lola Rose is our spirit animal

22. Going #Red4WED

You did it. You turned the world #Red4WED. We are very proud of you all and very grateful for your support. Click on the photo below to see the many different photographs taken on World Encephalitis Day.

#Red4WED 2021

Bonus highlights...

23. BrainCast

Dr Sotiris Posporelis - Pospo to his friends - is a Consultant Liaison Neuropsychiatrist at King’s College Hospital London and the host of the BRAINCAST podcast. In this episode, he interviews Dr Tom Pollak and Professor Tom Solomon to discuss encephalitis and World Encephalitis Day.

Pospo also did some wonderful promotion for his podcast.

24. India goes #Red4WED

Our friends in India pulled out all the stops to support our campaign to light up red buildings in their beautiful country.... with 42 landmarks going #Red4WED in the end. Amazing! 

25. Niagara Falls

Many thanks to photographer Jason Haywood for taking these wonderful photographs of Niagara Falls. 

Thank you for your support!

This project is supported by a charitable donation from Pfizer Ltd

Sanofi Pasteur UK has provided financial contribution towards this project but has had no input into the content and/or materials