Mum of meningitis survivor encouraging others to take on The Big Half marathon

04 Dec 2018
Mum of meningitis survivor encouraging others to take on The Big Half marathon

Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) still has some charity places available for The Big Half taking place on Sunday 10 March 2019.

Public entries sold out quickly for The Big Half – a half marathon from London Marathon Events Ltd which shares much of its 13.1 mile route with the world famous London Marathon, but you can still enter with an MRF charity place.

31 year old Clare McGrath from Buckingham took part last year after her daughter survived meningitis.

"I was really honoured to be able to run for MRF, it’s a really small way of giving back for all the support and information we have had from the charity in the last three years." Clare McGrath

Clare said “My baby daughter Niamh had meningitis at just six weeks old. Luckily she pulled through and she’s now three years old and doing great. I was really honoured to be able to run for MRF, it’s a really small way of giving back for all the support and information we have had from the charity in the last three years. It’s such an amazing event and I’m lined up to run again at the 2019 Big Half for this great cause.”

The Big Half is set to be a celebration at the heart of London with DJs, bands, food and plenty of colour along the route.

Anyone looking for a New Year challenge is welcome to apply for a charity place with MRF, regardless of whether they’ve been affected by the disease personally or not. By joining Team MRF runners will be given a fundraising and training pack, a running vest with iron on name, and support from MRF’s dedicated fundraising team.

The money that runners raise at The Big Half will help support MRF’s lifesaving research into the prevention, detection and early treatment of meningitis and septicaemia and will allow the charity to continue raising awareness and supporting individuals and families affected.

Clare’s aunt, Sr Margaret McGrath, was recently asked to speak at the 2018 Glasgow Meningitis Ball and decided to write a poem:

The ME in Meningitis

The ding of Social Media
waking me from sleep,
the picture of my niece’s child
that makes me want to weep.
A swollen red-faced six-week-old
taped and tubed.
Her mother waits,
anxious for news that’s good.
Lumbar puncture…
on a tiny frame, tiny wristband, tiny name.
I am on my knees, praying that this virus
isn’t meningococcal meningitis;
that in this insidious lottery
she will beat the odds
and grow to her potential,
having everything essential
to live life to the full, not wrapped in cotton wool,
her limbs intact, for the awful fact
of the matter is that many do not survive unscathed.
On a night like this one, filled with joy and cheer
as befits the Meningitis Ball,
think of those you hold dear, and no matter
how large or small your giving,
someone’s chance of living a fuller life
will not be measured by the toss of a coin.
Thank you for giving Niamh the chance
to sing, to play, to dance!

Media contact
Sam Williams - Media Relations Manager
Tel: 07875 498047
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