200,000 Steps in 31 Days Challenge #WalkingForEncephalitis

200,000 Steps in 31 Days Challenge #WalkingForEncephalitis

On 8th January 2020, after being misdiagnosed with motor neurone disease and associated dementia, my Dad was finally diagnosed with a very rare brain disease called CASPR-2 antibody encephalitis. He became ill in October 2017 when he had seizures out of the blue, and since then he has declined massively in terms of his mobility, memory, cognitive functioning and day to day living. It can be treated, and while he may not get back to how he was there is a glimmer of hope that he may improve with auto immune therapy treatment, rehabilitation and time.

Until 8 January 2020 I had never heard of the word encephalitis but thanks to everyone at The Encephalitis Society I gained a huge understanding of my Dad’s condition, of how rare it is and what his prognosis for the future is. In 2020 I shall be supporting them through fund raising and awareness raising campaigns, as well as sharing my Dad’s story in the hope that it leads to greater awareness and greater understanding about his illness.

The Encephalitis Society have been SO helpful since my Dad’s shock diagnosis of CASPR2-antibody encephalitis, and with helping me get Dad in front of Professor Sarosh Irani at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, who first discovered CASPR2-antibody encephalitis. We are going to see Professor Irani next Friday, 28 February, and my Dad will be in excellent hands with him.

I planned to do a #BrainWalk around the River Severn for #WorldEncephalitisDay, but due to severe flooding I had to postpone it until Saturday 14 March 2020. I’ve therefore decided to do something better to keep the awareness going and to hopefully raise a small bit of money for The Encephalitis Society charity.

Next month I have challenged myself to walk 200,000 steps in 31 days  this will incorporate the reorganised #BrainWalk from today which will now be taking place on Saturday 7th March 2020  on that day I will do a lap with some friends around the River Severn starting from the Diglis Walkway bridge, around the river and ending up back at the bridge.

 

As I walk with my dog Poppy every day I stand a good chance of achieving this challenge and as the weather (hopefully) improves I will be spurred on to do more steps and get more fresh air 

 

I will post screenshots of the amount of steps I achieve and the walks I do on here throughout March to keep me accountable. If you can sponsor me to do this, even just a tiny amount as I #WalkForEncephalitis, I would appreciate it SO much 

Please consider supporting me and The Encephalitis Society as I undertake this challenge – every penny makes a huge difference to awareness and research of this extremely rare condition. The link to my Just Giving page is below:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lisa-ventura 

Thank you all so much  xx

Lisa Ventura Nominated For National Diversity Award

Lisa Ventura Nominated For National Diversity Award

Lisa Ventura is proud to announce that she has been nominated in the 2020 National Diversity Awards in the “Positive Role Model” category for her work supporting women in cyber security and in neurodiversity.

The winners of the awards will be announced on Friday 25 September 2020 at The Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool.

The National Diversity Awards is a prestigious black tie event, which celebrates the excellent achievements of grass- root communities that tackle the issues in today’s society, giving them recognition for their dedication and hard work.

Charities, role models and community heroes will be honoured at the ceremony showcasing their outstanding devotion to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion; thus embracing the excellence of all UK citizens irrespective of race, faith, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability and culture.

To view Lisa’s profile on the National Diversity Awards website visit https://nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/nominate/27527/

For more information about the awards please visit https://nationaldiversityawards.co.uk.

Online Trolls Need to be Stopped…Here’s Why

Online Trolls Need to be Stopped…Here’s Why

I have to admit I am not a fan of Love Island as a show, it isn’t my cup of tea at all. That said, I am aware of the show and was aware of Caroline Flack as the host of it.

 

To hear she has taken her own life age 40 is just awful, and on the back of hearing about my friend Kieran a couple of weeks ago this has really affected me.

 

When will something be done to stop people writing and spouting off pure vitriol online at others? When will something be done to stop these awful people who think it is perfectly acceptable to write words to others that are cruel, damaging and in the majority of cases absolutely untrue? When will we all stand up and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?

 

I have been subjected to the most vile abuse online, including comments that are completely untrue about me, so I know what I’m talking about. I know how soul destroying it is, and believe me I also felt like I no longer wanted to be here as a result, but I rose above the comments from the online trolls, as hard as it was to do. The line in the song “Cleaning Out My Closet” by Eminem is particularly true for me, “Have you ever been hated or discriminated against, I have…I’ve been protested and demonstrated against.”

 

In the culture of “celebrity” that we live in today, the media seems to think it is perfectly acceptable to write whatever they like about people, and this applies to anyone who dares to put their head above the paraphet even a tiny bit to raise awareness of something that is important to them. The moment someone does that, they are considered “fair game” by the press in a bid for them to get more clicks, likes and most importantly – more money and more profit. In turn, opening up comments to the general public on online articles has created a whole new can of worms whereby people think they can act as judge, jury and executioner and that there will be no consequences whatsoever of their actions when they post negative, harmful, untrue and nasty comments about someone online. Unfortunately, there ARE consequences – as the passing of Caroline Flack has clearly shown.

 

 

Something MUST be done to stop this kind of online abuse. I would disable and ban any commenting on newspaper websites for a start – you only have to look at the Daily Mail online to see the level of nastiness that people think is perfectly acceptable to write with no consequences for what they write and their actions. But there are consequences and casualties – Caroline Flack being one of the latest ones. And the likes of the Daily Mail Online and The Sun does NOTHING to police these disgusting comments by members of the general public. Would these people say the things they say online to someone’s face? I surely don’t think so!

 

How many more deaths have to happen before people start thinking more about the consquences of their actions when posting vile and abusive comments online to others? What can be done to stop this kind of vile abuse online ? I don’t know what the answer is, as policing everything online would take such a huge amount of resources. Everyone has the right to express their opinion, but they do NOT have the right to be nasty and abusive. What a sorry state the world has become today.

 

Please, if you are reading this, think before you type. Please be kind. Please STOP before you post something to someone and think about how you would feel if you received the words you are about to post.

 

Kindness should prevail….always.

#RIPCarolineFlack

Lisa Ventura Finalist in the “Inspiration Award” Category in the 2020 Network Computing Security Awards

Lisa Ventura Finalist in the “Inspiration Award” Category in the 2020 Network Computing Security Awards

Lisa Ventura is proud, humbled and honoured to announce that she has been named a finalist in the “Inspiration Award” category in this year’s Network Computing Security Awards.

The winners of this prestigious set of awards will be announced on Thursday 2 April 2020 at a special ceremony and gala dinner at the Leonardo Royal Hotel, London City.

The evening starts with a drinks reception and is followed by dinner, entertainment and the presentation of the awards.

The full list of contenders for the “Contribution to Cyber Security” category are shown below:

Marc Benioff                           Salesforce.com
Leanne Bonner-Cooke            E-bate
Paul Eccleston                        Nuvias
Carrie Goetz                            StrategITcom
Marcin Kleczynski                  Malwarebytes
Ian Moyse                                Natterbox
Andrew Stevens                       CNet Training
Lisa Ventura                            UK Cyber Security Association

The winners will be decided by the number of votes they receive, and Lisa needs your votes please in order to have a chance of winning.

The link to vote is http://www.networkcomputingawards.co.uk/ and Lisa would really appreciate it if you could please take a bit of time to vote for her.

For more information about the awards please visit http://www.networkcomputingawards.co.uk/

The Rise of the Cyber Women Book Release: Thank You

The Rise of the Cyber Women Book Release: Thank You

I want to send a very big thank you to each and every one of you for your messages and comments in support of my forthcoming book “The Rise of the Cyber Women” which will be released on Sunday 8 March 2020 (International Women’s Day). It seems to have resonated with so many of you, and I am really enjoying working on the book and compiling it.

If you have sent me a message or posted a comment on my posts about the book, please forgive me if I can’t get to every one of you personally. I didn’t anticipate the strong interest the book would have, and I’m currently supporting my father following his shock diagnosis of CASPR2-antibody encephalitis and trying to get him in front of the right specialists and on the right treatment for his condition. Please know that every message and every comment in support of “The Rise of the Cyber Women” means a lot to me and given the interest in it I’ve got thoughts/ideas for similar books in other areas….so watch this space!

I’m currently heavily into editing and proofreading with the book, and I’ll post further updates about it in the coming weeks. Once again, thank you all so very much 😊