Lisa’s background as a public health nurse and as a survivor of LGI1 autoimmune encephalitis put her in a unique position to serve as an advocate with the AE Alliance. Her journey with AE began in 2016 when she started having symptoms of left sided numbness and tingling that gradually progressed to partial focal seizures and then a grand mal seizure that finally got the attention of neurologists. Even with 30-40 partial focal seizures a day, cognitive changes and extreme fatigue, it took multiple neurologists, and continued advocacy to finally reach a diagnosis of LGI1 AE in February 2018. By that time, she was dependent on a walker and had suffered many brain injury effects.
Lisa prides herself on her positive attitude and even at her sickest, she committed to doing everything she possibly could to recover. With the support of her family and three sons, she sought out a neurologist with AE experience who demonstrated a keen interest in keeping abreast of current research. She not only followed the treatment advice of her neurologist, she also enlisted the support of a skilled holistic practitioner, adopted a strict anti-inflammatory diet, committed to meditation and mindfulness, pursued numerous rehabilitation therapy modalities, and then gradually resumed daily exercise. Through this multi-pronged approach, and a lot of hard work, Lisa has regained most of what she lost to AE.
Lisa knows that every person’s journey with AE is unique and is committed to sharing her methods and experience to support others through recovery, one step at a time. She has a particular interest in the effect of the environment and hormones on autoimmune disease in women.
She lives in a small mountain town in British Columbia, Canada, with her husband and teenage son, where she spends the winters cross- country and downhill skiing and the summers hiking and stand-up paddle boarding.