Joe Brayshaw, 18, from Halifax, will be running, cycling and swimming in the Leeds Triathlon on Sunday 10 June in memory of his lifelong friend Lewis Hilton and to raise awareness of meningitis and funds for us.
Lewis was just 19 when he passed away from meningitis earlier this year. He went from having flu like symptoms on the Thursday to being kept alive on life support by the Sunday morning.
Never said goodbye
“I think that proves how quickly this disease can take over and just how much of a surprise it was when we heard the news,” Joe said.
“Because of how fast the meningitis took over I never actually had a chance to say goodbye to Lewis. If I’d known the last time I saw him it was going to be the last time I could speak to him I would have made more of an effort to thank him for being such a good friend all throughout my childhood."
That’s why Joe, an apprentice technician with Volkswagon who turns 19 the day before the Triathlon, is determined for Lewis’s memory to live on.
Bring some good out of it
“Just because something so bad has happened doesn’t mean I can’t make an effort to bring some good out of it,” he added.
Joe’s already raised just over £1,500 in sponsorship but is hoping for even more.
“I’ve chosen to support Meningitis Now to help to fund research for this horrible disease and to make sure anybody affected gets the support they need from the charity,” Joe said.
“I know from my own experience this charity really does everything it can not only for the person directly affected by meningitis but also the close friends and family of the victim.”
Determined to complete the course
This will be Joe’s first triathlon. He’ll be taking on a 1.5 kilometre swim, 40 kilometre bike ride and a 10 kilometre run and is determined to complete the course.
“I’ve never done a triathlon before and that’s exactly the reason I decided to do this one,” Joe said. “I wanted to do something both challenging and unknown to me.”
You can support Joe’s efforts through the donations and events page.