Meningitis Now staff member Clara Wiggins

New Year New You - triple Three Peaks Challenge after daughter's meningitis death

Clara Wiggins | 5th January 2020

Some of you may be looking for a New Year New You challenge that stretches you just that bit further – and our Three Peaks adventure could be exactly what you’re after

Meningitis Now New Year New You - Three Peaks Challenge fundraising event

Tackling the three highest peaks in the UK – Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in England and Ben Nevis in Scotland – in just 36 hours, the Three Peaks Challenge will really test your levels of fitness, endurance, resilience and even your sense of humour!

We usually run one Three Peaks each year but for 2020 we’ve decided to do it twice: once in May and then again in September. This should give everyone a chance to take part, if 36 hours of climbing and travelling the country between the peaks is your idea of a good time.

One our supporters who would certainly agree the challenge is the way to go is our mountain hero and Meningitis Now fave Paul Gentry. Paul has already taken on the Three Peaks Challenge three times and loves it so much he’s contemplating doing it again this year.

Paul lost his daughter Izzy to meningitis in 2016. She was just 16 years old and studying for A-levels at college. “On Tuesday 17 May, Izzy complained of feeling unwell,” Paul told us.

“As the day progressed her symptoms began to worsen… concern began to increase as there had been a case of meningitis at her college two years previous.” Later that night Izzy’s condition worsened further and eventually she was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary. She was actually discharged the next day but then things started to go downhill again and she was taken back to hospital.

“At 11.30pm we were advised that Izzy’s condition had deteriorated so much that there was no chance of recovery,” said Paul. She remained on life support until the next day but at 7.30pm on Friday 20 May, she was declared brain dead and her life support systems were turned off.

You can read Izzy’s full story here, but since her sad death dad Paul has been a huge supporter of Meningitis Now. This includes helping us with campaigns, attending our dinners and receptions at the Houses of Parliament, talking to radio stations about his experience, signing up for various different events and of course taking part in our Three Peaks Challenges an amazing three times.

Help raise essential funds

He told us about how he first became involved with the charity and about his Three Peaks experience. "I lost my beautiful daughter Izzy to MenB in 2016 aged 16 years,” he said.

“My family and I received a lot of help and support from everyone at Meningitis Now and it made me realise what an amazing charity it is. I wanted to help raise essential funds for Meningitis Now so that they can continue their important work so I took on their Three Peaks Challenge."

“The Three Peaks is an amazing adventure: it is challenging, but the scenery makes it well worthwhile. I enjoyed it so much that I have completed it three times and am now considering doing it again!"

“It’s really well organised and everything you need is catered for, the Safety Team and support staff are amazing and you will always be really well looked after. Altogether, it's a great opportunity to meet new friends, challenge yourself and do something to support a great cause. The only regret you will have is not signing up for the challenge, so get those boots primed and get ready to walk!”

Meningitis Now New Year New You 2020 - Page Link Graphic Three Peaks Challenge