Hawick resident and Meningitis Research Foundation Ambassador Rory Bannerman, 56, has raised over £3,500 for charity by walking every single road, street and avenue in Hawick – around 21 miles – in 8 hours.
Meningitis struck Rory’s daughter, Eilidh, on a family holiday in 1999, when she was just seven years old. Eilidh stopped breathing, and the medical team fought for her life during a 40-mile journey to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh.
Rory remembers: “We were so lucky to get her back, and because we did, I have made it one of my life’s missions to make sure I remember how lucky we are every day.”
As an Ambassador for Meningitis Research Foundation, Rory and his family have raised thousands to help defeat meningitis, but fundraising became more challenging when COVID-19 struck, prompting Rory to bring his fundraising closer to home.
“I had done charity walks before,” said Rory. “But I was determined to walk every street in my home town this time, without missing a single one.”
Eilidh, now 28 and working as a Biology teacher in Newton Mearns, has fully recovered from her ordeal and returned to Hawick to join her Dad on the walk. The journey took eight hours with a total of ten walkers, each pair maintaining a two-metre distance.
“The community support was fantastic,” said Rory. “We weren’t shaking buckets or anything but people stopped us to give us money and learn more about meningitis. Lots of people were waving from their windows. We had a super time.”
The Hawick walk has raised over £3,500 so far
to be split between four charities, including Meningitis Research Foundation.
Rory said: “COVID-19 has made people realise that life can completely change in an instant, but families affected by meningitis already knew that. We were just on an ordinary family holiday when everything changed and we nearly lost our daughter.”
Rob Dawson, Director of Support at MRF, said: “Rory and his family have helped to raise vital funds and lifesaving awareness for over two decades. The disease that nearly claimed Eilidh’s life remains as dangerous as ever, and we are very grateful to the Bannerman family for their support as we work to defeat meningitis.”
Donate to Rory’s fundraiser at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Hartsgarth.