Race connects nearly 2000 people in supporting autoimmune encephalitis victims around the globe

March 9, 2016

High above the starting line. Over 1300 runners and walkers participated.

Nearly 2000 runners, walkers, family members, volunteers, and supporters of all ages came out on Saturday to participate in the 4th annual Florence Forth Road Race to benefit the Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance. Held in Durham, North Carolina, participants traveled from as far away as Germany, Colorado, Canada, Nebraska, Indiana, and California to be a part of the race and surrounding events. The 5K and 10K were highlights but so were the “Kids Cape Dash,” face painting, letter writing to sick kids at Duke Hospital, and the Family Lunch for AE patients and their families.  After the race local band “Plan B” laid down some tunes as the crowd celebrated their success, ate and drank, and did a lot of laughing – all while wearing their Florence Forth medals that each person received for participating in the races. Scroll down to see more photos of the race. To read more about the race and see the results visit Florence Forth .

We are incredibly thankful for our sponsors, without whom this race would not be possible. Please consider being a patron of these businesses that offer so much in supporting the fight against autoimmune encephalitis (full list of sponsors is below).

FF 2016 229
Runners and walkers preparing for miles under foot.

Florence Forth was started by Leslie and Will McDow who lost their daughter Florence on March 4th, 2012 after a long battle with autoimmune encephalitis.  Florence was a healthy, vibrant 2 year-old when the first symptoms of AE emerged.  Over the next four years, the disease caused neurological complications and developmental delays.  The search for a diagnosis and eventually a treatment lead 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 6 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. To read more about the genesis of the race please visit About Florence Forth.

Super Hero Sponsors

OMSA image001                  

Community Hero Sponsors

            ATI      empower      Durham_CocaCola

Local Hero Sponsors

Big Spoon Roasters         Brame   Catherine D. Ray D.M.D.

Duke Street Dentistry    Durham Co-Op Market  Franklin Watkins Financial Group

George’s Java    H&R Block           HappyMess Art Studio

Hilton Garden Inn            Linton Architects              MATI Energy

Plan B    Sew Crafty          The Pit

Tilthy Rich Compost