Mother and Meningitis Now supporter, Michelle Bresnahan has relentlessly campaigned to eradicate the disease, raising a monumental £350,000 for the charity.
Michelle, her husband John, and daughter Charlotte, launched their own appeal ‘A Life for a Cure’ in memory of 16-year-old, Ryan Bresnahan, who died from meningitis on 31st March 2010. All monies raised are donated to Meningitis Now, funding vital vaccine research.
Ryan was a fit and health 16-year-old when he was struck down with meningitis. A keen sportsman, Ryan ‘embraced life with charm and personality, living every moment to the full.’
On 30th March 2010, Ryan complained of a stomach ache and still felt unwell the next morning. Within an hour of waking up, he was unconscious and despite being rushed to hospital and doctors efforts, nothing could be done to save him.
“Our lives changed on 31st March 2010 and the events surrounding that day will stay with us forever. I would like to thank everyone that has helped us along the way, from emotional support to fundraising."
“People have supported our appeal in a number of ways, including participating in events, sponsoring friends and family members, and buying ‘A Life for a Cure’ merchandise. Every penny raised will go towards helping fight against meningitis, finding the ultimate cure for this dreadful disease.”
In 2011 the family funded a ground-breaking research project at Sheffield University, which saw hundreds of students inoculated with friendly bacteria through nasal droplets, which could stop meningitis-causing bacteria living in the nose and throat.
The family are now funding a second project at the world-class institution, Imperial College London. The project, led by Professor Paul Langford, is working towards making a vaccine which will provide better protection against Men B than the current vaccine, Bexsero.
“Our ultimate dream is to see an end to suffering caused by meningitis and for no parent to have to lose their son or daughter to this brutal disease.”
“You never fully recover from this kind of tragedy but we take comfort in celebrating his life and turning our tragedy into something positive. We believe Ryan would be proud."