A Gateshead couple are participating in the #Walk1000Miles challenge to raise awareness of encephalitis.
Encephalitis is an immune-disease which is diagnosed by acute inflammation that causes the brain to swell. The disease causes psychotic episodes and can cause lifelong complications.
James Mckenna, from Gateshead, was diagnosed with a severe migraine at first but, after being rushed to the hospital for the fourth time, he was finally diagnosed with encephalitis. James said: “At the time of my hospital admission I had to idea who I was or my loved ones. There was a chance that I could be paralysed or even not awake up again.”
James and his partner, Kat Mckenna, are both taking on the #Walk1000miles challenge in 2019. The challenge consists of both of them running 1000 miles over the course of the whole year and gaining 1p per mile done.
“I am doing this to raise awareness, to make sure that other people can be as lucky as I am,” he added.
The Encephalitis Society is a registered charity and the only resource of its kind, providing direct support and information to people affected by encephalitis. The sixth annual World Encephalitis Day took place on February 22 and sought to raise awareness and support families with this neurological condition.
Dr Ava Easton, Chief Executive of the Encephalitis Society, said: “One person every minute will be struck down by encephalitis, no matter their age, gender or where they live in the world.
“Statistics reveal that 78 per cent of people across the globe do not know what encephalitis is – a truly startling figure which we are striving to improve through campaigns such as World Encephalitis day.”