Meningitis survivor runs 20th marathon for us

3rd April 2023

Thomas Lailey deVille was inspired by his own recovery from meningitis to raise money for Meningitis Now. He will mark the amazing milestone of running twenty marathons when he attends the London Marathon 2023

Meningitis survivor runs 20th marathon

Thomas was diagnosed with meningitis as a young child. 

As a football-mad little boy, it was devastating to think that he might not be able to run around and play again. Fortunately, Thomas made a full recovery and now strives to raise awareness of the disease.


Because of his own experience of meningitis, it has been important for Thomas to show other survivors the possibilities of what life can hold after the disease. Meningitis Now holds a special place in his heart:

“I personally love Meningitis Now’s mission statement and the intent of a future where no one dies from Meningitis and anyone affected gets the support they need.  The energy from the Meningitis Now team is second to none - it’s very inspiring.  

Thomas is putting that inspiration into action this year at the London marathon. If completing his twentieth marathon wasn’t enough, he’ll also be attempting to beat the personal best he set at last year’s London marathon, which he also ran for Meningitis Now.

Biggest challenge

Thomas says, “I ran a PB for Meningitis Now last year (3hrs 20mins). The biggest challenge this year will be trying to beat it. It’s my 20th marathon, and potentially my last, so will be giving it everything I’ve got.”

As all marathon runners know, getting your training right is an essential component to a successful run. Thomas knows this better than most:

“I train off road and chose hilly and challenging courses. The resistance type training really helps with the endurance and CrossFit and Hiit classes help with the cardio!” 

Finish Line

After all the preparations are complete, money raised, and snacks packed there is only one thing in the minds of marathon runners, the finish line.

Thomas says, “There really isn’t a better feeling than running through that finish line, conquering what you set out to do. My advice to budding marathon runners is to just enjoy yourselves. Running should always be a pleasure and it’s great for the mind and body.”

Amazing cause

Of all of the marathons he’s run, the London Marathon is Thomas’s favourite:

“It’s an incredible sporting event. I love soaking up the atmosphere and I enjoy every step. I’d encourage anyone and everyone to give running a go (whatever the distance) and link up with a charity to spread awareness and contribute towards such an amazing cause.

Thomas has raised over £2,500 for Meningitis Now to date and would love your support. Please visit his Just Giving page.