On April 28th, I joined a small group of wonderful people to celebrate Suzie Miller and her play that is burning up Broadway, "Prima Facie." When I was invited, I didn't know much about Suzie or the play. But I did know I'd finally get to meet whom I've deemed my "International Bestie," Dr. Ava Easton, CEO of the Encephalitis Society.
My lovely husband, Sean, and I ventured to New York City where the lovely cab driver (it was his first day and the poor guy didn't have it easy) dropped us just a ways from our hotel, and honest to god, in the absolute middle of Times Square with our luggage.
We dined with many new friends, did some sightseeing, and were drenched down to our socks for most of the weekend.
Friday morning, the day of the encephalitis dinner and the play, I obsessively read everything I could about Suzie and "Prima Facie." From reading, I learned that Suzie and I have a lot in common (raised Catholic, first in our families to go to law school, passion for social justice and trial work, and we both left the law to pursue our writing [obviously she's on a much higher level, but ...]). In person, I learned that I adored her. She was the most brilliant, kind, unassuming, and generous woman.
And oh yeah, she had encephalitis in the early nineties! She and I were the only encephalitis survivors at dinner, but were also surrounded by doctors, scientists, advocates, a carer (Sean), and Suzie's dear friend, another lawyer.
From reading, I learned the play was going to be heavy and amazing. In person, it was. (And had I looked over my shoulder, twice, Dua Lipa walked right next to me. Twice). One out of three women is sexually assaulted. That's a staggering statistic. Suzie hopes to see changes in the legal system, especially in the way sexual assault cases are handled and tried. Because of her work and the play, I believe that will happen.
And Dr. Ava, well ... she's just as wonderful in the flesh as I knew her to be online. I've been her biggest fan for years now and I don't see that changing anytime soon. With her at the helm, the Encephalitis Society will continue to be the global leader in all things encephalitis.
To everyone on the Encephalitis team, especially Phillippa, Dr. Ava, and all the others who made possible that most magical night on Broadway in NYC, thank you. What a night it was (even if Elton couldn't join us at Sardi's). And three cheers to my new "sisterhood" with Suzie Miller (did I mention she's a famous playwright and that "Prima Facie" is killing it with awards and that we exchanged signed books??!!)!
These were the better days ahead I dreamed of.
To learn more about Suzie, READ this interview.
To check out "Prima Facie," CLICK HERE.