10 Years of Florence Forth,
More Than a Race

Florence Forth


Wherever you are, we invite you to join us and honor those in our community who are impacted by autoimmune encephalitis (AE).  All proceeds from this race support the mission of AE Alliance.

The Race - In Person

Saturday, March 5, 2022 | 5K / 10K | 8 am EST | Durham, NC

Register, volunteer, start a group/team on the official race website

Sign up!

Florence Forth - Virtual

Friday, March 4 – Sunday, March 6, 2022 | Create your own event | Anytime that weekend | Wherever you are

Not a runner.  Unable to travel.  No worries.  Wherever we are, let’s honor Florence and her superhero cape.  Let’s honor each other and the super powers of our AE Community.

The purpose of Florence Forth – Virtual is to provide everyone the opportunity to recognize the strength and super powers in the AE Community.  Last year was our first virtual Florence Forth.  Participants joined us from 22 states!

We invite you to sign up, maybe create a team, wear a cape if you like, get moving and celebrate.  If you are an avid runner, mark your course and submit your official time to the run site.

We can all participate virtually!

Sign up!


                        #FlorenceForth #capemomentsAE #ifunfor

History of the Race

Florence Forth was launched by The McDow family, Will, Leslie, and their daughter Laura, who lost six-year-old Florence on March 4, 2012, after a long battle with the rare brain disease, autoimmune encephalitis. Florence was a healthy, vibrant two year old when the first symptoms of AE emerged but over the next four years, the disease caused neurological complications and developmental delays which ultimately led to her passing.

Florence Forth commemorates the day that six-year-old Florence died – March Fourth, and honors other families, patients, caretakers and communities who have been impacted by this devastating disease.

Inspired by “March Fourth,” the “day that is also a command,” the McDow family heard a charge to “Florence Forth” in accelerating the search for a cure, providing care to affected families, and forming a community of collaboration and concern.


Florence Forth


Florence Forth