My experience with meningitis is different to what you normally read about. In 2012 I first met Emma through a charity committee set up by our school; she was supporting Meningitis Now and campaigned for it to become the charity we support as a year.
I later found out through a mutual friend that she was so passionate because, unfortunately in 2003, her eight month old sister died from meningitis.
Later in 2014 we became very good friends. I remember one day, we were sat talking and asking the usual questions that you would ask a new friend. One of these questions was “How many brothers and sisters do you have?” Suddenly she stopped and I remembered what I was told in 2012. A friend that knew Emma well answered the question for her, stating “She has a brother and two sisters.”
Later Emma explained to me exactly what happened to Hannah. This sparked my interest in helping out with Meningitis Now in any way I can. I have been very impressed by how involved her family are with the charity, which made it easier for me to join in. Over the past two years I have learnt about the effects of meningitis and how devastating it can be. I am also aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease, something I didn’t know before.
Because of this, it has allowed to me talk to Emma about how her sister’s death has affected her. It’s a sensitive topic she has been able to share with me and it is very inspiring. I have joined her in the fight against meningitis, it started with fundraising together at school, and continues as we complete work experience with the charity.