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Running round Rome in Becca’s memory

14th May 2024

Huge congratulations to our supporters Charlie and Brad, who are back from the eternal city of Rome where they were taking on the Rome Marathon – to raise funds in memory of Charlie’s good friend Becca, who died unexpectedly from meningitis last November.

Rome marathon - charlie & brad

“Becca was an incredible character, and brought such positive energy to a room.”

It was the friends’ first marathon and Charlie admits he found it difficult. But they did it and some of Charlie’s pain is alleviated by the fact that he raised almost £3,000 towards our lifesaving and life-changing work –a fantastic result well over his initial target, with no doubt more to follow.

Charlie, 28, formerly from Canterbury but now living in London and working for a media agency, told us: “We were always planning on doing the marathon. Brad had originally tried to get into London and then after not being able to do so, tried Rome.

“My initial ‘I'll come to Rome with you and watch’ soon translated to ‘I will do the marathon as well’. With Becca passing away unexpectedly in November, it felt only right to do it for her.

First marathon for them both

“I have done a bit of running and was quite inept at 5kms, but never really long distance. I had only ever done 10km when I signed up and even before the marathon last Sunday I had only done over a half marathon twice. Brad is a little more consistent, but this was also his first marathon.”

They chose to raise money for our work in memory of Becca. Charlie met Becca when they were at similar stages in their lives and a similar age, and they became very close friends.

“She was an incredible character, and brought such positive energy to a room,” he said. “She had a unique style and was a very talented graphic designer. She was easy to confide in because she was so open and honest, and to me one of her biggest qualities was she was one of the very few people who allowed you to be your true self around her, making you comfortable in doing so.”

Becca contracted Adult Onset Stills disease in 2020, which resulted in her going through spells of being very unwell and impacting her physically.

Looked her usual self

“She rarely wanted people to know how she was and did a great job of hiding it,” Charlie added. “Whenever she met with people, she looked her usual self with the same energy.”

In summer 2023 she was very unwell and had a couple of months off work, but she came back in the autumn and in October was her usual self. “We went out for dinner or drinks several times and you would not have been able to tell she had been so unwell. Sadly, she became very unwell again in early November.”

Despite still being in contact until a few days before with friends, she was taken into hospital less than two weeks after she became ill on Saturday 18 November and passed away during the early hours of the Sunday morning, having been treated for meningitis in her final hours.

Becca Burt

Glastonbury tickets

“It was a huge shock to friends and family, who were not aware how unwell she had been in the final few days – I even messaged her just the day before to see if she wanted me to try for Glastonbury tickets for her.”

Brad, also 28, who works for a tax company, had only met Becca on a few occasions, but kindly agreed to support our cause too and his fundraising added at least another £1,000 to the total.

Charlie would especially like to thank Brad for doing the marathon with him, his partner Kayleigh and their good friend Matt, who came to support and help us, even running the last 3km with Charlie near the end when he needed it! And also Becca’s family: dad Julian, mum Barbara and brother Dan, who have been fantastic in reaching out to Becca's close friends, including us in everything, drinks to toast her, meeting up for her birthday in a couple of weeks, remembering everyone's name and their connection to Becca and stories she had told them about everyone.

There’s still time to contribute to Charlie’s fundraising page if you’d like to. You can find it here

Our Senior Fundraising Officer Claire Ellis said: “Well done Charlie and Brad on completing the marathon and raising so much money to help us fight meningitis in Becca’s name – I’m sure she’d be very proud of your efforts. Every pound raised helps us fight back against this devastating disease and make a difference to those who need our support – thank you to you and everyone who supported you.”