Val Stephenson

I first made contact with Meningitis Now in 2000 when, at the age of two, our youngest daughter, Lydia, contracted meningococcal B and developed septicaemia

Val Stephenson

Community ambassador

I first made contact with Meningitis Now in 2000 when, at the age of two, our youngest daughter, Lydia, contracted meningococcal C and developed septicaemia. 

After a few heart-stopping days fighting for her life and a long time in hospital, Lydia was able to come home and start the long road to recovery and adjusting to life with major scarring to her hands and legs and missing a number of her finger ends, which had been killed by the septicaemia. We knew we were lucky as she had been so close to death.

Over the following years we have been involved both as a family needing support and as volunteers offering support to others. Our elder daughter became a Young Ambassador and one of our proudest moments was when she spoke at the House of Commons to raise awareness regarding the disease and how it affects the victims and their family.   

I was honoured when I was asked to become a Community Ambassador and look forward to taking on the role.

Get in touch with Val here
  • Holly M

    Holly McNaughton

    Community ambassador

    Hi, I’m Holly. I first became familiar with meningitis when my mum contracted it on 14th April 2012.

  • Anne Cadden

    Anne Cadden

    Community ambassador

    In January 2001, my daughter, Helen, died from meningococcal septicaemia aged 18 while in her first year at university. A friend from Helen’s school, Richard Murphy, also died from meningitis seven weeks later at another university.

  • Lesley Leaver

    Lesley Leaver

    Community ambassador

    I lost my husband, Kevin, to meningococcal septicaemia in January 2000, just five hours after being admitted to hospital. I have been supported by Meningitis Now ever since. 

  • Anne Gaston

    Anne Gaston

    Community ambassador

    My son is now 21, but when he was six months old, he was rushed to hospital with suspected meningitis. Thankfully it turned out not to be meningitis, but it made me realise how little I knew about this devastating disease