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Susannah Cahalan Discusses her Book and Movie on the Today Show

Susannah Cahalan Discusses her Book and Movie on the Today Show

July 6, 2018 | Tabitha Andrews Orth

All of us in the Autoimmune Encephalitis community owe Ms. Cahalana debt or gratitude for using her talents as a writer to tell her story of when, at 24 years old she descended into madness due to anti-NMDAr encephalitis. 

The book, Brain on Fire : My Month of Madnesshas been responsible for spreading awareness of these disorders throughout the medical community and general public world wide.  Those of us who have AE or are in recovery from it, know the bravery it took to investigate what she could not remember of her experience and to re-live the horror.  Susannah’s bravery in opening the doors to memories so many of us keep shut because of the trauma we went through, has lead to countless lives being saved through an accurate diagnosis, including my own. 

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This  morning, on the Today Show, Susannah recounts her story. The video is 10:43 minutes long and one we highly recommend you watch and share with friends and family. 

 Click to view interview

The second interview on the July 5th broadcast was that  Eileen Tchao.  How the hit book and movie,  ‘Brain on Fire’ helped her become correctly diagnosed. At age 18, Eileen Tchao was in a coma for six weeks with symptoms that appeared to be from psychosis before she was diagnosed with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a rare autoimmune disease. Her father, Dr. Paul Tchao, helped diagnose Eileen when he stumbled upon journalist Susannah Cahalan’s book, “Brain on Fire,” which details anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. Eileen and her father join Megyn Kelly TODAY to describe their journey.

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 click to view interview


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International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society (IAES) is a Family/Patient centered organization that assists members from getting a diagnosis through to recovery and the many challenges experienced in their journey.

Driven by the knowledge that “Education is Power”, International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society manages an educational support group for patients diagnosed with Autoimmune Encephalitis and their loved ones, empowering them to be strong self-advocates and advocates that will lead them to best outcomes and recovery. We are the premiere organization leading in these vital roles.

Our website is not a substitute for independent professional medical advice. Nothing contained on our website is intended to be used as medical advice. No content is intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice. Although THE INTERNATIONAL AUTOIMMUNE ENCEPHALITIS SOCIETY  provides a great deal of information about AUTOIMMUNE ENCEPHALITIS, all content is provided for informational purposes only. The International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society  cannot provide medical advice.

International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society is a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2016 by Tabitha Andrews Orth, Gene Desotell and Anji Hogan-Fesler. Tax ID# 81-3752344. Donations raised directly supports research, patients, families and caregivers impacted by autoimmune encephalitis and to educating healthcare communities around the world. Financial statement will be made available upon request.

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