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2024 Bismarck Brain Walk



Grab your red #StebbinsStrong shirts and walking shoes, and get ready to Brain Walk!

If you can believe it (I can't) it's time for the 5th annual Bismarck (virtual) Brain Walk. It seems like just yesterday, I was fighting with my friend, Kelly, when I announced in 2020 that we were holding the "first annual" Bismarck Brain Walk and he assured me that wasn't a thing. After going rounds, I (begrudgingly) settled on calling it the "inaugural" event.



But lucky for me, we've gone far past that first one and we're quickly marching into a half decade of brain walking ...


In 2018, disaster struck, and in 2019, I was still reeling from its devastation when I learned of World Encephalitis Day. But I didn't know what to do with it. I remember seeking advice and my friend, Beth, a mother of a child with Down syndrome, simply told me that I could make the day into whatever I wanted. She planted a seed, and I threw together a brain walk.


And boy oh boy - was that event life changing. That last minute walk at the Bismarck YMCA became the largest in-person #Red4WED gathering in North American history. And many of our walks thereafter have been the largest virtual events around the globe, jointed in the name of World Encephalitis Day!



We took something as simple as wearing red and gathering with our people to walk in the name of encephalitis awareness, and we grew it like hell!


And for you dear JM Stebbins friends, you'll recall that just last year, Gov. Burgum declared February 22 as Encephalitis Day in North Dakota. That means we get double the fun when we brain walk in North Dakota on World Encephalitis Day!



So ... we can't stop now! On February 22nd, we need to don our red, get walking, and share our pics so everyone knows just what the heck autoimmune encephalitis really is (because remember, 8 out of 10 people in the world haven't heard of encephalitis; I was one of those until it struck me).


To join the Bismarck Brain Walk, it's as easy as 1-2-3:


  1. Wear RED (socks, shirt, #StebbinsStrong brain shirt, shoes, underwear [but remember, you have to take a picture ... you do you ...] jacket, etc.);

  2. Go WALK (outside, inside, long, short, at work, you can walk here, you can walk there, you can walk in your underwear ...);

  3. TAG me - JM Stebbins - on social media with your big smile and red [shoes, shirt, underwear] going #Red4WED!


That's it! No registration, no early Sat. morning alarm, no missing your morning coffee or evening wine ... just wear red and walk where you are, as you are. (We love you that way!)


BUT ... if you want to take one further step and boy would I appreciate it, you can make a donation to (the UK based) Encephalitis International or the (US based) Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance. I work closely with both groups and love them for their impressive efforts in the fight against encephalitis onset and recovery!


DONATE to Encephalitis International DONATE to Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance


Can't stop. Won't stop. Let's keep brain walking!


Thanks JM Stebbins friends. You're the best!





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