Everyone knows about the devastation the forest fires are causing in California, Washington, and Oregon. Millions of acres have burned, thousands of buildings have been destroyed, and lots of families have seen their house burn down.
Amidst, the devastation, there was a light, a CASPR2 encephalitis survivor. Bob Given, who is 76 years old, was fighting the Almeda fire in Southern Oregon for more than 27 hours non-stop and saving people! Bob responded as a volunteer of the Greensprings Rural Fire District when mutual aid was requested.
Bob was diagnosed with CASPR2 encephalitis in May 2016. Up until that point he was running his CPA firm and was heavily involved in the community. Suddenly, with three grand mal seizures, his world was taken from him. Thanks to a Mayo Clinic study on CASPR2 antibody encephalitis, supported by AE Alliance, Bob was diagnosed early and received proper and timely treatment.
He still suffers from short-term cognitive memory, vision, and eye hand coordination issues, but most importantly he is still around to enjoy his wife of 52 years, family and continues to give back.
Bob is a strong advocate for educating Doctors on early recognition of AE, providing patients and their families with resources and raise awareness of AE. He has assisted in the organization of educational events, assisted in the AEA introductory short movie, and continues to invest time and energy in the education and awareness of the medical profession.
AE is a devasting disease, takes a long time to recover from and you may not always get fully back to your own self, but Bob’s story shows there is hope and things will get better.