A couple of weeks ago I had a guest post to raise awareness of Autism. I realised from publishing that post that I really want to use this blog for good. So I’ve decided to start a little series to raise some awareness of anything that simply needs more awareness. So this week I have my friend Nicky’s story with Meningitis.
In May 2006 our lives changed forever. Firstly in an amazing way as our second daughter joined our family. Secondly, because we learnt about Meningitis. And I mean really learnt. From a snuggly 3 day old newborn to a baby covered in wires fighting for her life in the blink of an eye. You’re never prepared to hear the words that your child might die. You spend your time in hospital in a barely coping little bubble.
We are amongst the few lucky ones, our baby survived. Her hearing is intact, she has all her limbs. She does have some brain damage, and behavioural and learning difficulties, but we’ll take that given the alternative.
The Meningitis Research Foundation saved both her and me. The drugs they fund saved her life, and them being at the end of the phone saved my sanity. They still do. Over the past few years, I’ve volunteered with them talking to schools, parent groups, universities, and other parents about meningitis awareness. I also set myself a goal of raising £10,000 for them and I’m pretty close now. I’ve promised my husband I’ll stop the madness there (as in my head I’m 21 and invincible but in reality, I’m on the wrong side of 45, hate exercise, and love Gin and chocolate. But I can’t say no to a challenge). He’s a bit against me risking death and serious injury for some reason. My tally stands at one collapse, one trip in an ambulance, two broken bones, one snapped calf muscle, hyperthermia, and altitude sickness. Reading that back I suppose I see his point……
Anyway, my most recent idiotic “yes” was to attempt the London Marathon. I hate running, have no discipline to train and it’s on Sunday! My original plan was just to finish it. I’ve since discovered that if you go over 8 hours you don’t get a medal which seems a bit harsh and has considerably increased the pressure. It’s all about the medal !!
Those of you with babies, thanks to the Meningitis Research Foundation, won’t have to worry about Men B thanks to the new vaccination. The ACWY one will be given to all children at senior school. They have been immunised against Men C. Money from fundraising has helped achieve that but there are still strains of Meningitis we can’t protect against. YET. The strain my daughter had being one of them.
I’m the Dorset Ambassador for the Meningitis Research Foundation. I can supply you with awareness literature. I can talk in your schools and nurseries about symptoms and vaccines. I can provide whatever you need. And I need your support – even a couple of quid could take us a step closer to a world free from Meningitis, and as a disease that kills within hours, irrespective of gender, age, and race, never having to worry about it for your families would be amazing wouldn’t it? Please sponsor me if you can!
If you can please do support Nicky. So far she’s ran or limped in her words the Great South 10 mile Run, climbed all the way to the top of Kilimanjaro, done the Thames Path 50k Overnight Challenge, been carted off the London to Brighton 100k in an ambulance, and yet attempted it again. She’s an absolute inspiration and really deserves our support so please share her story and wish her the best of luck for Sunday.
Nicky, we are rooting for you!
It Did Do Harm – An open Letter to Grandparents & Those With Adult Children
(Blog post on generational trauma)