Florence Forth was started by Leslie and Will McDow, whose daughter Florence died on March 4th, 2012 after a long battle with autoimmune encephalitis. The search for a diagnosis and lack of effective treatments led them to realize the need for increased awareness, improved clinical care, and expanded research. Along with Florence’s sister Laura, the McDow’s named the race Florence Forth to commemorate the day that six-year-old Florence died—March fourth. Inspired by “the day that is also a command,” they heard a charge to accelerate the search for a cure, provide care to affected families, and form a community of collaboration and concern. It was through this command that the Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance was organized.