My connection to encephalitis is through Kim, my wife.
Kim’s father died from encephalitis just two weeks after the diagnosis. He was only 36 years old. This happened six weeks before Kim’s twelfth birthday – her mum was 33, and her brother 10. It is thought that he contracted encephalitis whilst run down from a period of repeated transatlantic flights.
Kim read about the Encephalitis Support Group (ESG), as it was then called, in a women’s magazine. She was very keen to become a member and to support the group as she felt that there had been no such support around when her father died – let alone bereavement counselling.
Subsequently, in one of their newsletters, a call went out looking for a treasurer. I attended a trustee meeting in Derby and subsequently volunteered my services.
That was some 20 years ago – and during that time Encephalitis International has developed and grown dramatically. I have seen first-hand how dedicated and hard working the staff are and this is reflected in the growth in membership, the level of support services provided, their involvement in research, and their global reach.
In 2019, after 20 years, and with increasing time commitments at work, I decided it was time to step down as Treasurer. That said my interest in the charity hasn’t waned and I continue to support it in a variety of other ways.