"I became an aqmbassador after the sudden death of my husband John in December 2014.
"John was a GP and first became ill at 3am on the 23rd of December with a temperature. He continued having little more than a temperature and feeling mildly sick until he woke at 1pm the next day. I went up into the bedroom to see him and immediately exclaimed to call an ambulance. He continued to deteriorate rapidly until he eventually died. His cause of death was of MenW, which attacks all age groups and is vicious.
"I have since learnt a lot about meningitis through MRF and I can score 10/10 on recognising all the symptoms. However, I do realise, that John did not present all the alerting symptoms, that would make you consider meningitis straight away. He was an experienced GP and I was a physiotherapist, but even so, I’m not sure that I would recognise it if it had happened to me again.
"MRF have been very supportive to myself and our 3 boys and they have helped me to learn and understand more about the disease. I decided to become an ambassador to increase awareness and encourage people at risk to get vaccinated, as I believe this is the best way forward. John, a passionate doctor, would want me to do this if it could possibly save other families from going through our experience.
"I have found that going to schools and universities to encourage the uptake of the MenACYW vaccine very rewarding. I am now involved in the research project, 'B on the Team'. Anything that can be done to make people aware of meningitis and the vaccination programme is vital.
"As an ambassador, I have met several survivors of meningitis and I am in awe of their strength and resilience. Also, I have met other families who have lost a loved one to meningitis and they are passionate about trying to prevent unnecessary deaths or disabilities through the disease.
"Being an ambassador allows you to meet others with similar experiences and see how positive they are. It also allows you to become an engaged and useful member of society at a time in your life when you wanted to hide away."
Dianne lives in Worcester.