Meningitis Now staff member David Clifford

Fundraiser for Declan who passed away from pneumococcal meningitis

David Clifford | 21st July 2020

Kate French is due to ride the 50km Trans Pennine Trail on Monday 27 July with her sons Jake and Josh French-Molloy, in memory of her first son Declan who sadly died from pneumococcal meningitis

Fundraiser for pneumococcal meningitis victim Declan

This ride marks the anniversary of what would have been Declan’s 16th birthday.

As with all forms of meningitis, it can strike fast and with little warning, as Kate recalls:

“Declan had pneumococcal meningitis. He started with what seemed like a cold virus, he had no rash or other noticeable symptoms. We took him to the doctors 3 times in the week leading up to him dying and were told to give him paracetamol for a cold virus. Even in the hospital they said he just had a viral infection and it wasn't until later that night they had to admit him to intensive care after discovering it was meningitis. Awareness needs to be raised on how serious it can be.”

Speaking of the ride, Kate said, “I just had this lightbulb moment on Monday because normally we do something on Declan’s birthday every year. This year we decided to have a go at raising some money. The fundraiser has gone crazy over the last couple of days. I’m really pleased with it so far."

Fundraiser for pneumococcal meningitis victim Declan

Kate’s original fundraising target was £500, but they have blown through that and it currently sits at an amazing £1,436 at the time of writing.

Kate continues, “I have never ridden a bike that far in my life. We did about 16 miles one day and got completely lost and went about three miles in the wrong direction.”

Fundraiser for pneumococcal meningitis victim Declan

We at Meningitis Now wish Kate and her family well on the 27th, and are so grateful to her and other people like her. Raising vital funds means that we can continue our mission to raise awareness and support anyone following meningitis. You can support Kate’s fundraising on her JustGiving page.

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