Meningitis can strike in an instant but its impact can last for a life time.
Meningitis seems like one of those scary things that you think you don’t need to consider because it always happens to some else. There are an estimated 2,500 cases of bacterial meningitis a year and about 5,000 viral cases. Unfortunately those cases do happen to someone and its best to be prepared knowing the signs and symptoms just in case.
Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It can strike quickly and kill within hours. Many different organisms can cause meningitis but the most common are viruses and bacteria. You can find out more information, including the signs and symptoms on our website. If you are ever in doubt please ask the advice of a medical professional.
My name is Rebecca but most people call me Becky, or Bex. I am the North West and North East Community Fundraiser for the Meningitis Trust. The Trust helps over 20,000 people each year; giving vital support to, and improving the lives of those who are living with the life-changing impact of the disease every day. Me, plus many other fundraisers help to raise the vital funds needed for the Trust to continue this crucial work.
One of the reasons I joined the Trust was because of a little boy called Ceiran who I met in early 2012. Before this meeting I new little about Meningitis, and even less about what it could do to the human body. Cieran lost both of his legs below the knees to meningococcal septicaemia in 2006 when he was just a baby. I was so inspired when I met him, as he was such a chirpy, smiley, happy little boy, that I wanted to do something to help. Consequently I did a skydive to raise money for new prosthetic legs for Cieran, then a black tie Ball to raise money for the Meningitis Trust…and now I’m a full time employee for the Trust. I feel I have landed my dream job, and it’s only just the start!
In my role I do everything from helping our supporters with their own events to raise money for the Trust to cheque presentations, attending events and generally raise awareness of the charity with in the North West and North East of the country. I am also involved in organising events for the Trust, such as our Christmas concert and promoting events such as the Manchester 10K. All of this makes for a very varied job and I get to meet so many different amazing people.
If I had to pick my top five high lights so far I don’t think I could. I’m already up to 15…and counting! I loved Rosie’s coffee morning one Sunday morning in September. I was overwhelmed by the 200 ladies attending Val’s Ultimate Ladies Night. The generosity of the Crème de la Crème Ball was out of this world but most of all I get excited about meeting people like Shelley who has organised fundraising events to support the Trust; raising thousands of pounds to make sure everyone affected by Meningitis can have the support they deserve.
I had an email recently from a lady who should have been taking part in a walk we had planned in September but which had to be cancelled due to the poor weather. Jeanette’s family were already in Cumbria so decided to find an alternative walk to do. She said …
“On the Saturday we headed to Tourist Information and decided that we would climb the Old Man of Coniston, a fell in Coniston that measures 804 metres high. For myself, my husband Colin, my mum Carol and my dad Mick this seemed fairly easy but my 7 year old daughter Jessica wasn’t so keen and for my 4 year old son Joseph it seemed quite a task. Joseph was 7 months old when he got Meningoccocal Septiacemia. Luckily for Joseph we caught it early and it would seem that the only problem that he faces at the moment is a damaged growth plate in his right leg.
Like the real trooper that Joseph is (and Jessica of course) he climbed the fell eagerly. At the top we could see Morecambe Bay in the distance. On our return home, everyone was amazed that Joseph had climbed to such a height and agreed to give the sponsorship that they had promised and therefore I will be forwarding you a cheque for £343.00!”
That’s enough inspiration for me.
If you would like more information about the Trust or a local representative have a look at our website www.meningitis-trust.org. Or keep up to date with Facebook or Twitter. Plus my weekly Meningitis Trust blog
— Rebecca Dodd Up until three months ago had always worked in the hospitality industry, and filled her spare time with fundraising for various charities. A passionate person with a love of spending time with family and friends. Along side helping the supporters of the Trust, she enjoys baking, sewing and reading. They may sound like typical hobbies, but she isn’t your typical 20 something! ‘Believe and Achieve’ is something she feels is at the heart of her everyday life.