A team of 14 people are gearing up for a cross country cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats and have raised a staggering £58,000 for charities Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) and For Lucie.
Three of the team’s members have had family affected by meningitis.
Toby Paxton from East Boldre, Hampshire, who brought the team together for the challenge, explains, “Our ten year old son, Monty, contracted pneumococcal meningitis when he was six weeks old. For a while it was touch and go but against the odds, he survived. He did not escape unscathed though and, now nine years old, he is living with the consequences of this brutal and indiscriminate disease, not least in his current battle against a debilitating and hugely distressing neurological condition. But fundamentally, he is a normal, happy, funny, giving and loving son and brother. And most importantly, he is here. Many other children and their families are not so fortunate. I really wanted to get a team together to do something that would make a significant contribution to the ongoing battle to eliminate meningitis from our lives.”
Another team member is Jon Page, whose family home is in Stamford, Lincolnshire. Jon's daughter Lucie sadly lost her life to group B streptococcal meningitis in November 2010. Jon said, “Lucie was still a babe in arms. She was just 16 days old when this cruel disease took her life. As a family we fundraise and raise awareness in an effort to celebrate Lucie’s life. Please help us to avoid other families having to go through this tragic loss by donating as much or as little as you wish.”
A third member of the team whose family has been impacted by meningitis is Stephen Woodcock from Allestree, Derby. Stephen said, “My niece and goddaughter, Lydia Stephenson, battled with meningococcal septicaemia as a little girl. She was critically ill for several days and had to have some of her fingers amputated. Fortunately, she received a treatment called haemofiltration just in time to prevent her feet from suffering the same fate. She is now a beautiful young lady, but lives with daily reminders and scars of her illness. My sister’s family has done a lot to raise awareness of the disease since then and this is my chance to do the same.”