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.
Last year's race raised $40,000 to support the Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance's efforts to speed diagnosis, improve treatment and evetnually find a cure. The proceeds allowed the AE Alliance to host the first International Symposium on Autoimmune Encephalitis. Read about the symposium here.