Year-long running challenge for meningitis survivor from Norfolk

Year-long running challenge for meningitis survivor from Norfolk

Martin Yaxley from Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk, is competing in a series of running events throughout 2017 to raise funds for the charity Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF), after surviving meningitis as a baby.

The 29 year old Sales Manager completed his latest 10K run on Sunday 4 June at the former RAF Coltishall airfield.

“I was diagnosed with E. coli meningitis shortly after I was born in January 1988." - Martin Yaxley

Martin explained, “I was diagnosed with E. coli meningitis shortly after I was born in January 1988. My family tell me what a frightening time that was.

"On the ward there were six children all with meningitis. It was only me and one other that survived. The other child that survived lost limbs as a result of the meningitis and septicaemia, and although I looked fine from the outside I was left with complete hearing loss in my right ear.

"Roll on to 2017 I have a great network of family and friends around me and I’m looking forward to getting married in March 2018. Throughout 2017 I'm looking to clock up the miles by entering different races ranging from 5 miles to 13 miles on different courses across Norfolk and Suffolk. I’ve done seven races so far. The 10K race on Sunday was the first time in a long time I found myself struggling but I finished with a new personal best, 54 minutes 14 seconds. Hard work and training pays off.

"I'm no athlete but I feel now is the time for me to help raise awareness and funds to support the research that is ongoing to prevent and treat meningitis. I hope the money will help other children stand a chance of surviving the disease.”

Martin hopes to achieve his fundraising goal of £1000 for MRF. He’s posting regular updates about his running challenges on his fundraising page. He even hopes to get a place in the 2018 London marathon.

Rob Dawson, Head of Support at MRF said, “We’re grateful to Martin for taking on a whole year’s worth of challenges. Babies are at higher risk of bacterial meningitis than any other age group and there are still some forms of the disease which are not covered by vaccines, so it is vital that people are aware of the symptoms. The funds Martin is working so hard to raise will be used to support MRF's lifesaving research into the prevention, detection and early treatment of meningitis. It will also allow us to continue raising awareness of the disease and support those affected.

Picture courtesy - Mark Hewlett
E. coli
E. coli
This bacteria is an important cause of meningitis in newborn babies and people with medical conditions that put them at increased risk. E.coli is a much greater problem in developing countries.
Media contact
Elaine Devine - Director of Advocacy, Communications & Support
Tel: 0333 405 6248