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:


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.

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 😊

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay…..

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay…..

Yesterday morning I happened to spot a post on Facebook about a chap I met back when I founded the Worcestershire Literary Festival and who I knew from the Worcester Writers’ Circle, Kieran Davis. He had apparently gone missing on Monday, and no-one had heard from him. I shared the post to my Facebook in case anyone had seen him or had any news as to his whereabouts, but I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. It turned out that feeling was correct – Kieran had passed away – https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/18209149.brother-missing-worcester-man-says-died/

I was so shocked and stunned when I heard the news, and I still can’t believe he has gone.

When I lost my much loved and much wanted son Frankie in 2013 to stillbirth Kieran messaged me often on Facebook to check how I was doing, and he helped me as I went through the worst time of my life. He sent me funny poems “to make me smile and laugh” and told me that I would smile and laugh again one day…and he was right. I will never, ever forget that.

Kieran was an extremely talented writer and poet, and always made everyone laugh. I wish I had just a tiny bit of his writing talent. His “Baldy Poems” were hilarious, and his humour was infectious. He always made me smile and laugh, and a light has gone out of the world with his passing. I can’t even imagine what his family are going through right now, and my thoughts and prayers are with them all.

Today, as I try to process what has happened to Kieran, I’ve got this to say to you all and to anyone who is struggling.

Whether you are male, female, or however you identify yourself, but I say this especially to men….it is okay to NOT be okay. It is okay to admit that you are struggling, that you need help, that you need someone to talk to.

I’ve been there where I have felt like the only way out is to not be here anymore. I have honestly thought about what the best way would be to leave this earth. I couldn’t see past the pain I was feeling inside and felt that everyone around me would be much better off without me, and that everyone’s life would be better if I simply didn’t exist.

Somehow, thanks to talking and to my amazing husband, family and friends, and thanks to having counselling, I saw past the pain. I saw a future. I saw that I was wrong about everyone being better off without me. I realised that they would be better off WITH me. I realised that I matter, and that life is worth living.

Men especially are particularly vulnerable given that they are brought up to not show their feelings, to never cry, to have a “stiff upper lip” and just get on with things, no matter how much they are struggling and hurting inside. Sadly it is too late for Kieran, but I don’t want it to be too late for anyone else I know.

Please please…..if you are struggling and you need to talk to someone…contact me. My messenger is always open and I’m always happy to listen. None of you need to feel that you are suffering in silence or suffering alone, even if you feel like you are alone.

I promise you this. You are NOT alone. People care….I care. Talk to me, talk to anyone. Don’t keep things to yourself. Don’t suffer in silence….ever.

#ItsGoodToTalk ❤️❤️ 

The Rise of the Cyber Women Book Release: Thank You

The Rise of the Cyber Women – Release Date Announced

I’m delighted to announce that my book “The Rise of the Cyber Woman” will be released on Sunday 8 March 2020, which is International Women’s Day, via Kindle Direct Publishing (formerly Amazon Createspace).  Those of you who will be included in the book have been notified via email.

I’ve been overwhelmed at the amount of interest the book has received and honoured that so many amazing women in cyber security have submitted chapters for inclusion in the book. I have enjoyed reading all of them immensely and while proofreading and editing the book one thing is clear. Even though women are often put off by pursuing careers in cyber security and technology, the ones that are in the industry have achieved great things despite often having a non-linear path into cyber security and technology, and they have overcome great challenges to get to where they are today.

I hope “The Rise of the Cyber Women” will inspire other women to enter the cyber security and technology industries and consider it as a viable career path. Much still needs to be done to encourage women to take up careers in cyber security and technology, and while great strides are being made, the more that is done to encourage other women into the industry, the better.

“The Rise of the Cyber Women” – released on Sunday 8 March 2020 (International Women’s Day) via Kindle Direct Publishing.