“Joseph almost died, and he spent the next 3.5 months receiving treatment in hospital. Joseph is amazing and is fortunate to have survived but he has been left with a variety of medical and development issues. Now six years old he has already had 12 surgeries including four brain surgeries.
"Sadly, Joseph is one of many. In 2015 380,000 people died of meningitis worldwide and over 1 million survivors were left with severe after effects such as limb loss and brain injury.
“I would love to think that by taking part in this run I can help Meningitis Research Foundation reaching their goal of a world free from meningitis and septicaemia, and play a small part in ensuring other people don't have to suffer the effects of this truly horrible and life changing disease.
“The weather was against everyone on Sunday as we faced rain, hail and 47mph winds. This didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits in the slightest. If anything, it encouraged people to push through and assist each other when it all got a bit too much. This was my first half marathon in London and the atmosphere did not disappoint, the cheers and the support were incredible.
“The thing that got me through was turning the corners at mile 3 and 11 and seeing my friends and family and the most important person, Joseph. The pain that I was experiencing was miniscule compared to what he and others are going through and soon became insignificant.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to Meningitis Research Foundation for being so supportive and helpful throughout the whole process, a fantastic charity who I was extremely proud to run for and wear their colours on the course.
“After sharing my story with my friends and family, and baking some treats for my work colleagues, not only did I reach my fundraising target, I smashed it by 360%.
Donations are still being gratefully accepted at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/miranda-grogan
Rob Dawson, Director of Support at Meningitis Research Foundation said, “We are really grateful to Miranda for taking on this huge challenge to help raise funds, and to everyone that ran the Big Half for us. Meningitis and septicaemia can strike quickly, sometimes killing in hours, and leaving some survivors with life-changing after effects. These vital funds raised will help to continue our research, awareness and support programmes us to defeat meningitis.”
The first symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia are usually fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell. Limb pain, pale skin, and cold hands and feet often appear earlier than the rash, neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights and confusion. People who are ill with meningitis and septicaemia can deteriorate rapidly and not everyone gets all of these symptoms. It’s important for people to trust their instincts and get medical help immediately if they suspect meningitis.