When fundraising, it’s usually easier when people know the charity you’re raising money for, or if they think they may need to rely on this charity in the future. For Lucy Thomas, however, many people have never heard of the charity she’s raising money for, the Encephalitis Society, or the condition that it relates to. In fact Lucy only heard about the condition when it changed her life forever.
In December 2003, Lucy had been for a long weekend in New York with her sister. Lucy cannot remember most of her trip and does not remember driving from Reading to the Forest of Dean when she got home. Believing she had had a mental breakdown, Lucy was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, where she soon wasn’t able to walk or communicate. Luckily, doctors realised something more serious was going on and she was transferred to the main hospital, but no diagnosis could be made. It was in the Brain Hospital in London where Lucy’s condition was finally diagnosed as Encephalitis, the inflammation of the brain which results in wiping out the immune system, and her family were told that if Lucy were to survive, she “would be like a cabbage for the rest of [her] life and need 24 hour care”.
11 years later, Lucy has completed her Association of Accounting Technician qualification and is now running the Severn Bridge Half Marathon to raise money for a charity that could hopefully ensure less people end up in Lucy’s position. The Encephalitis Society describes itself as “an organisation that was founded on the principle of mutual support. Our desire to influence change is informed by the direct experience of people affected by Encephalitis and their families and carers. Input from other contributors to the Society including our Members, Staff, Volunteers, and Trustees are key in our considerations.”
Lucy describes her upcoming challenge as “Braintastic” and says she is sharing her story to “give strength and hope to everyone affected by this life threatening illness. Even though I know not everyone is as lucky as myself so that’s why we need to make people aware, this is what The Encephalitis Society is here for.”
You can support Lucy’s fundraising by donating via her Virgin Money Giving page.