My name is Katherine (Katie) Gilstrap, a survivor of Anti-NMDA Paraneoplastic Autoimmune Encephalitis from Raleigh ,NC. I was diagnosed in 2008 as the first adult case in North Carolina at Duke University Hospital after months of misdiagnosis. I was never expected to walk or talk again if in fact I were to wake up. My family had to fight to keep me alive because no one knew what was killing me. The hospital wanted to take me off of life support. When I did wake up, recovery was a nightmare. A horror story. I did not get the follow up care and therapy I needed. I suffered a stroke and have battled with neurological damage for years. It has been a constant battle seeking care and going through misdiagnosis, losing years of my life. Today I am continuing treatment and recovery as a Penn Medicine patient via Duke University Hospital. I spent last years race in a hospital bed a block away from all of my friends and fellow survivors while my Dr ran in my stead. It is tragic what this disease does to your life and family. Please make a contribution so that someone else doesn't go through the battle that I have endured. The Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance is a foundation focused on increasing awareness, education, and helping improve treatment. Please join me in the fight to raise awareness!! 100% of the proceeds go to The AE Alliance 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 us 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 to Florence Forth that the Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance was organized.