Sophie appointed regional meningitis ambassador

31 Jan 2017
Sophie appointed regional meningitis ambassador

Sophie Royce from Reigate in Surrey has been named as regional Ambassador for the charity Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF).

Sophie said, “I contracted meningococcal W septicaemia aged 21 in 2013 and I got ill very quickly. I was taken into the intensive care unit in hospital and I was in hospital for eight weeks. I’ve had 30 operations since I survived the disease. The septicaemia was so bad that I lost the ends of my feet and the tips of my fingers but I haven’t let it stop me doing anything I wanted. I am now a student nurse at London South Bank University and I’ve been I’ve been telling everyone at uni to get the MenACWY vaccine that’s now available to protect students from the strain of the disease that made me ill - MenW. I know how dangerous the disease is and how quickly it can strike. Any students who haven’t had the vaccine yet should get it as soon as possible. I am honoured to be asked to promote the work of MRF in Surrey and London as an Ambassador and I’m looking forward to being even more active in raising awareness of the disease.”

MRF estimates that there have been on average around 3,200 cases of meningitis and septicaemia every year in the UK. They are deadly diseases that can strike without warning, killing one in ten, and leaving a quarter of survivors with life altering after-effects ranging from deafness and brain damage to loss of limbs.

Babies, toddlers and young adults are most at risk, but the diseases can strike at any age and there are not yet vaccines available to protect against all types of the disease.

MRF Ambassadors are active members of the charity who all have personal experience of the diseases. They have been selected to give a more formal representation at a regional level and allow the charity more opportunities to spread awareness and fundraise in local communities.

Vinny Smith, Chief Executive of MRF said, “We’re very grateful for Sophie’s continued commitment to raising awareness of meningitis and septicaemia and we are delighted that she has agreed to be an Ambassador in Surrey and London. We now have 91 Ambassadors across the UK and they take on a variety of roles from organising their own events, speaking to the local media about our latest campaigns to giving talks in nurseries, schools and colleges across the region.”

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