Mum Lisa, from Kislingbury, Northamptonshire, shares their story.
"When my son Alex first became ill, I took him to the doctor who diagnosed German measles due to the spots on his tummy.
"As his fever got progressively worse, and he refused to eat or drink, I took him back to the doctors two days later and he suggested I go to A&E. His temperature was 104 by then.
"We were seen almost immediately at A&E, and nurses did the glass test on his spotty tummy. I was immediately taken into a side room and it felt suddenly as if something was really wrong.
"One of the doctors told me they were concerned he might have meningitis, and they had to do a lumbar puncture, which was the only way to know for sure.
"Myself and four staff had to hold his arms and legs down so he didn’t move whilst they did it. It was horrible and he was screaming with pain.
"The liquid was cloudy, which they said was not good and he was placed in isolation until they knew which type of meningitis they were dealing with.
"My husband and I were also given a course of strong antibiotics in case we were carriers.
"It was a terrifying experience, as he could have died or been left with a permanent disability as a result of this disease.
"My son was lucky - he responded well to the medicine and was released from hospital seven days later with no adverse after-effects.
"There were no vaccines available at the time, but when my son and his step sister were at secondary school I was delighted to hear that vaccines had become available, and I was eager that they should be inoculated against any type of meningitis.
"I wish that vaccines could be made available for all strains of meningitis, and that families can ensure that all their loved ones are protected from his horrible disease.
"My husband belongs to a Freemason group, and this year we raised £627 for Meningitis Now through a Masquerade Ball.
"I am a firm believer in what Meningitis Now are doing to help support families; in their publication of information to educate people on the symptoms, and in their research into vaccinations to help prevent this horrible disease."