Lauren’s Fight for Recovery

Help us raise money and awareness at our “Lauren’s Fight for Recovery” 5k Walk/Run on March 9th in Walnut Creek. 5k starts from the Walnut Creek Library. Registration is at 7 am and the walk starts at 8 am. Entry fee $30 for Adults Join or Donate here.


In December of 2012 our Signature Stylist Lauren was hospitalized and diagnosed with Autoimmune Encephalitis. The team at Changes Salon & Day Spa has come together to put on a 5k Walk/Run to raise money for Lauren who is still unable to return to work and to raise awareness for the Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance. Proceeds, to be matched up to $25,000 by an anonymous donor.


Event sponsorship opportunities are still available. Email [email protected] for more info.

Lauren Davis our very talented hairstylist…

Lauren Today
Lauren Today

Lauren Davis is a talented stylist and educator at Changes Salon & Day Spa in Walnut Creek, CA. She has worked at Changes for 10 years and mastering her art for over 13 years. She is an outrageous friend to those around her and is well loved by her clients and team mates. In late December 2012 Lauren she saw her doctor thinking she was experiencing anxiety. He put her on medication to help her deal with the anxiety until she could get an appointment for counseling.

Her world took a turn on January 1, 2013 when she had a seizure and was admitted to Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek, CA. Within days she was unable to speak, experienced severe anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, loss of appetite, was unable to sleep and at times catatonic. They did MRI’s, CAT Scans, PET Scans, EEG’s and Lumbar Punctures. On January 17th she was transferred to UCSF while waiting for the test results for anti-NMDA Receptor Autoimmune Encephalitis (referred to as ANMDARAE). She now had a feeding tube and had begun to have severe muscle spasms that her mother described as awful as the worst scenes in “The Exorcist”.

On January 25th ANMDARAE was confirmed and treatment began immediately (IVIG, Steroids, Plasmapherisis and Rituximab). Lauren returned to Kaiser on February 4th where she improved ever so slowly. Two steps forward, one step back (sometimes two steps back). On May 22nd was sent to Kaiser’s rehabilitation center. She came home on June 5th. Her boyfriend, Brian, lives with her and has been by her side since day one. He has not been able to work while supporting Lauren through her ordeal.  Lauren is now in occupational and speech therapy and is working very hard at getting well. Her speech is slowly returning and more words are coming every day.

Lauren is fighting for her recovery from this recently identified form of Encephalitis, known as anti-NMDA Receptor Autoimmune Encephalitis. Only a few thousand people have been diagnosed in the world with ANMDARAE, where cells of the immune system attack the NMDA receptors in the brain. These receptors control emotions, behavior, memory and cognition and the symptoms of the disease include mood changes, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations and psychosis. This is why so many people are misdiagnosed, put on anti-psychotic drugs and often put into mental institutions.

Lauren is one of the lucky ones. . . she was diagnosed early. Many don’t survive this dreadful disease because they don’t receive early treatment. It is so important that we raise awareness of this horrible disease. Learn more about Autoimmune Encephalitis 


Help us raise money and awareness at our “Lauren’s Fight for Recovery” 5k Walk Run on March 9th in Walnut Creek. 5k starts from the Walnut Creek Library. Registration is at 7 am and the walk starts at 8 am. Entry fee $30 for Adults 

Changes Salon & Day Spa
Latest posts by Changes Salon & Day Spa (see all)

0 thoughts on “Lauren’s Fight for Recovery

  1. Katerina Palmou says:

    Wish you all the best Lauren. I know how hard it is, my 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with it last April. She is doing so much better because she was treated immediately, she was very lucky for that and I am sure you will be much better soon since you were diagnosed early. I wish we were closer so we could join your fight walk, but we are in Greece. My best wishes, Katerina

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.