Jim has been an educator for twenty years and a primary caregiver along with his wife Samime to their daughter, Derya. Derya was diagnosed with NMDAR encephalitis and then Seronegative enephalitis. His daughter was a highly functional college student with a promising future. Her sudden decline in health also exhibited psychiatric features. Shewas to receive immunsuppressant treatments but instead was transferred to a psychiatric facility and pumped full of psychotripic medications. As Derya recovers from this negative experience she requires 24 hour care to this day. Jim, Samime and their son hope and look forward to the day their daughter comes back to them.
Wanda is a mother to three boys ages 25, 21 and 14, the middle of whom has been diagnosed with seronegative autoimmune encephalitis. She is a relentless warrior, having fought over thirteen years for an accurate diagnosis and aggressive treatment. She works full time in specialty logistics. She hopes one day her personal and professional life will intersect arriving at a cure for this dreaded disease.
DR KAREN MCKINLEY
Dr. McKinley is a licensed Clinical Social Worker, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner to individuals and families for 45 years. Dr. McKinley was the caregiver and advocate for her sister, Laura who struggled with Hashimoto's encephalopathy for seven years taking her to seven different neurologists, endocrinologists and a psychiatrist. Unfortunately, they only gave her seizure and psychiatric medications with little success. Despite all Dr. McKinley's efforts to advocate for her sister, she was unable to protect her when two memory Care Centers had decided to change her sister's diagnosis which resulted in her death.