Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Remember loved ones lost to meningitis with our Christmas Ribbon Appeal

Andy Hopkinson | 1st November 2019

A heartbroken mum who lost her son to deadly meningitis last November has launched our annual Christmas Ribbon Appeal

Meningitis Now Ribbon Appeal 2019

Katie Joyce had to take the agonising decision to turn her 4-year-old son Enzo’s life support machine off after scans showed the disease had left the youngster – the happiest and most bubbly boy Katie ever knew – brain dead.

“This will be our second Christmas without Enzo”, Katie said. “I still ask myself how it could have happened to my family."

“One minute I was at home with my baby thinking he had a simple cold and the next I was being told something no mother should ever hear.”

Fight back against this devastating disease

Katie is supporting our annual Ribbon Appeal, which offers everyone the chance to remember their loved ones at Christmas and donate to fight back against this devastating disease. Families affected by meningitis but not bereaved are also invited to support the appeal.

A white ribbon, inscribed with your loved one’s name, will be placed on the Tree of Remembrance at our annual Christmas concert in Gloucester Cathedral. The family also receives a second white ribbon for their tree at home.

“I know Enzo wouldn’t want me to give up, so we will have presents, we will have a tree and his white ribbon will be on it,” Katie added. “My little boy will always be in my heart.”

There for me and my family

Katie added, “After I lost Enzo, Meningitis Now was there for me and my family. They helped us find the strength to carry on."

“In the early days, just having someone there to listen on the end of the line meant so much."

“The ongoing emotional support has been so important to me too.”

Christmas can be a difficult time

Tom Nutt, our chief executive, said, “We know that Christmas can be a difficult time as many of us remember those who are no longer with us."

“Meningitis doesn’t respect this special time of year either. Twenty-two families every day throughout the festive period will feel its impact, with some lives being changed forever."

“Please support our Christmas Ribbon Appeal and help us to keep fighting this terrible disease and be there for Katie and other families who need our support, at Christmas-time and throughout the year.”

Lifesaving and life-changing work

All donations go towards our ongoing lifesaving and life-changing work, funding research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness so people know what to look for and what action to take if they suspect meningitis and rebuilding futures by providing dedicated support to people living with the impact of the disease.

To dedicate a ribbon and donate visit our Ribbon Appeal 2019 page.

To buy tickets for the Gloucester Cathedral Christmas Concert on Monday 16 December visit our Christmas Carol Concert page.

Thank you for your support. Together we’ll reach a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need.

Read more on Katie and Enzo’s story.

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