Steve starts from the Guildhall steps in Londonderry at 9am on Saturday, 27 May – the very spot where he started his first long distance walk in 1992.
Eight days and 201 miles later he’ll walk into Rostrevor at the end of his 34th and final long-distance walk. He hopes to raise £25,000, to add to the £2 million he has previously raised from walks alone to fight this devastating disease.
In that time Steve’s work has been instrumental in the introduction of five vaccines to fight meningitis, despite being told when he first started campaigning that he wouldn’t see any in his lifetime.
“I’ve been involved with the meningitis movement for over 34 years, since losing my 14-month-old son Spencer in 1982 to meningococcal meningitis,” Steve said.
“There were no organisations to represent the disease then, so I’ve dedicated my life to help create a better understanding of the disease.”
Steve became the founding chairman of the Meningitis Trust, now Meningitis Now, in 1986.
“Families and communities who have experienced meningitis have been the driving force behind our activities. Together we were the first charity to address this awful disease,” he added.
“Since then we have funded over £12 million of preventative research, distributed over 20 million awareness symptoms cards, taken over one million helpline calls and supported thousands of families who lives have been devastated by meningitis.”
“Spencer’s passing pioneered the greater understanding of meningitis which we have today.”
Support Steve if you can
Charity supporters and families who have been affected by meningitis from across Northern Ireland will be sponsored to join Steve for various stages of his walk and donations will also be collected from the public throughout. Support Steve's walk.
“There is a misconception that meningitis is a thing of the past and this complacency puts lives at risk” Steve added. “The fight against meningitis is far from over, and we would like to hear from other families in Northern Ireland who have experienced meningitis, and could help us continue our journey.”
“Every year thousands more lives are impacted by this devastating disease. We will continue to save lives and prevent disability through improving prevention and speedy diagnosis and help to improve the quality of life of those affected by increased recognition of the impact of meningitis and the provision of timely, effective support.”
Meningitis Now is grateful to Cheddar Natural Spring Water, who have donated all the water for Steve’s walk.
Steve’s walking itinerary:
- Day 1, Saturday 27 May: Londonderry to Limavady
- Day 2, Sunday 28 May: Limavady to Portrush
- Day 3, Monday 29 May: Portrush to Ballyvoy
- Day 4, Tuesday 30 May: Ballyvoy to Carnlough
- Day 5, Wednesday 31 May: Carnlough to Whitehead
- Day 6, Thursday 1 June: Whitehead to Newtownards
- Day 7, Friday 2 June: Newtownards to Strangford
- Day 8, Saturday 3 June: Strangford to Newcastle
- Day 9, Sunday 4 June: Newcastle to Rostrevor