This year World Meningitis Day focuses on Life After Meningitis. The theme shines a spotlight on the bravery of meningitis survivors and the challenges that they and their families face every day.
We‘re also highlighting what life is like for those who lose a loved one to meningitis – their life after the disease.
But we’re also asking those of you who can to support our ongoing work and make a difference for those impacted by meningitis in the future by making a donation or taking part in an event.
Through telling stories, raising awareness of the signs and symptoms and increasing vaccine knowledge, World Meningitis Day raises the profile of the disease and shares important information with millions of people.
Below we give a brief snapshot of some supporter stories and their Life After Meningitis. There’s more on all these stories, and many, many others, on our website - you can read our Meningitis Stories here.
You can also watch our short video of supporters’ stories here:
Meningitis survivor and miniature superhero Harmonie-Rose has recently completed the Bath Half Marathon on her prosthetic legs. Friends and family pushed the 5-year-old around the course in her wheelchair, but Harmonie-Rose, who has recently started school, was determined to cross the finishing line herself. And she’s hardly stopped since, making a guest appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain just a few days later.
A father and daughter team are taking on this Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon for us to celebrate the tenth anniversary of her surviving meningitis. Onor Crummay, 29, and her father Steve, 57, are both marathon veterans.
“This year will be my fifth London Marathon, but this one is very special,” Onor said. “Not just because I’ll be running with my dad but because it’ll be a proud and defining moment for me in my fight back against this disease. Thanks to the amazing NHS and with lots of support from Meningitis Now, as a family we have overcome this disease and its devastating after-effects.”
Michelle and Stuart married in February 2017, but that December Stuart fell ill and sadly died. He was aged 56.
“My life changed completely without my husband – married and widowed in the same year!” Michelle told us. “My whole future has been wiped out and I need to try and find a new one without him. This is devastating and very difficult to get my head around.” Michelle has since played a leading role in our ‘Adults Get it Too’ campaign, sharing her story to help spread awareness that older people are vulnerable too to meningitis.
Liz sadly lost her son Edward to meningitis in December 2016, since when she’s been a prolific fundraiser for us. She’s recently started blogging, and here’s an extract:
“I wake up on Valentine’s Day and the first person I think about is Edward. Edward is the first person I think about every day in fact. Edward is ALWAYS in my head the minute I wake and ALWAYS in my head as I drift off to sleep. My love for Edward is forever… my heart cannot cope with that child not being here. I’m grieving. My heart is broken. My love for him has nowhere to go. There is a part of me that died when he went; yet there is a part of him still in me… I go on, I have to.”
Katy lost her young son Charlie in October 2010. He contracted meningitis at 14 weeks and died a week later. “I threw myself into a massive campaign to raise awareness of the signs of meningitis. I tweeted every celebrity I could think of to get people to read Charlie’s story. I did interviews with magazines, newspapers and radio. All the time what I was really doing was pushing my grief away. I put it in the ‘to do’ pile. That could come later. I had work to do.”
If you would like to support us on World Meningitis Day, or any other day, and make a difference for those impacted by meningitis in the future you can do so on Facebook. It’s quick and easy to do and we’ve produced a short video that shows you just how to do it - watch it here.
What your fundraising could help us achieve
Do you know what your donations buy? With World Meningitis Day being on 24 April (and there being 24 hours in a day, of course) we’ve done a few sums…
- £2.40 could pay for 80 symptoms cards to help people recognise the signs of meningitis
- £24 could keep our Helpline running for an hour, providing vital information and support
- £240 could pay for one day of research that could one day end the pain of meningitis forever
If you’re able to donate more here’s what £100 buys:
Take part in an event
We have events of all shapes and sizes for all sorts of people, whatever your age or ability – from long runs to short walks, in this country and overseas. Take on a new challenge and help us raise funds to fight meningitis. Visit our Fundraising Events hub – your one-stop shop for all our events – to get inspired.
We know that life after meningitis can be tough, so we’re also using World Meningitis Day to promote our range of support services. Visit our Rebuilding Futures Fund, Family Days and Believe & Achieve Programme, find out about our support services, or contact our Helpline on 0808 80 10 388 or email@example.com.