Shrewsbury students run 190 miles in memory of Jago who died from meningitis

16th February 2023

Shrewsbury local Jago Ainslie died in December of group B meningococcal meningitis (MenB). His friends are paying tribute to the ‘all round sportsman’ with an ambitious fundraising run for Meningitis Now

Meningitis fundraiser for Jago

Former Shrewsbury school students Nick Argyle and Louis Graham are running 187 miles, the equivalent distance between Shrewsbury and Newcastle, in February to honour their friend Jago’s life. Nick and Louis are dividing the miles between them, keeping track of their progress via a running app. The run signifies the journey Jago would have taken from his hometown to university, where he was due to enrol in September. 

Nick said: "Jago was eighteen when he died. He was taking a gap year, with plans to go travelling and to attend Newcastle University in September. There were no signs that he had been unwell - he was out with friends the day before he fell ill. Soon before he died Jago and his mum drove to Newcastle to visit the university.” 

Jago was at home with his family when he started to complain of a very bad headache on Wednesday November 30 2022. His condition quickly worsened, and he was rushed to hospital having had a seizure. Jago was put into a medically induced coma which he sadly never woke up from. He died on the Friday evening,  December 2 2022.

Jago’s death came as a huge shock to his family and friends. The youngest of three brothers, Jago was full of energy before his sudden illness. He was a talented tennis player and cricketer and he was always laughing with his friends.  

Jago’s parents describe him as, “A wonderful, loving and supportive brother, friend and son. He was always making people laugh and he lived life to the full. Jago is greatly missed and will always be remembered.”

For Jago’s friends the seriousness of meningitis has never been so clear. Nick said: “Before this happened, my friends and I had heard of meningitis, but knew almost nothing about it. It really shocked me how little it is talked about in general health talks or in schools given how serious it can be. I do think there should be greater awareness given how dangerous it can be in serious cases.” 

Jago's friends have chosen to raise money and awareness of meningitis by running for Meningitis Now. They will complete their challenge in 18 days, to reflect Jago's age when he died. The inspiring virtual run will culminate in a final leg ending at Newcastle University on February 18 2023. 

Meningitis fundraiser for Jago

The friends hope to raise over £10,000 in Jago's memory and to help Meningitis Now to raise more awareness of the disease. 

Although meningitis can affect anyone at any time, teenagers and young people have a greater risk. Vaccines which help to prevent some types of meningitis are offered as part of the routine immunisation programme in the UK. 

A MenB vaccine is offered to babies at 2, 4 and 12 months old. The MenB vaccine is not currently offered to teenagers. Some people, who are not currently eligible through the NHS, may choose to seek vaccines privately for themselves or their family.

The MenACWY vaccine protects against four types of meningitis and is offered to teenagers between 14-15 yrs. Anyone who has missed the MenACWY vaccine remains eligible up to the age of 25 years. 

Meningitis Now’s CEO Tom Nutt says: “If you're unsure whether you've had the MenACWY vaccine, check with your GP right away. We are also reminding parents and young people that they should learn the signs and symptoms of this disease, because there are not vaccines to prevent all types of meningitis.” 

If you would like to support Nick and Louis with their fundraising please visit their Justgiving page.

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