A local mum who took on last year's Great North Run to raise awareness of meningitis after her son battled the disease is calling on others to take up the challenge this year.
Becky Moran, 27, of Dronfield, wanted to take part in a run to raise money for Meningitis Now, the charity which supported her family when her baby boy Jacob became ill with the disease at just 13 days old in 2015.
The mum of two picked the world’s biggest half marathon, the Great North Run.
She said: “I’d 100% recommend this run over other smaller runs I’ve done,” Becky said, “It was just so well run.
“On the day I was really nervous but my brother has done it a few times so said I’d be fine.
“The amount of support was incredible! At every part of the run there were people cheering you on. Having that support there I forgot I was running at times.
“There were also bands playing as you go around. It was brilliant. The support just carries you to the finish line. And when you see the sea you know you’re nearly there.
“For people who think they can’t do it, you can. For people that think you need to be able to run that distance before the day, you don’t,” Becky added.
Becky, a paraplanner, was joined by her husband Antony Moran, a product and governance manager with Aviva, for the run. Their efforts helped to raise over £550 plus a further £300 contribution from Aviva towards the charity’s vital lifesaving and life-changing work – funding research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness and rebuilding futures by providing dedicated support to people living with the impact of the disease.
She enjoyed the experience so much she hopes to sign up for this year’s event too.
Becky’s meningitis story started when Jacob was just 13 days old. He developed a high temperature and then had a series of seizures. “I just thought it was from a bug and that the temperature had caused the seizures,” Becky said. “However, we ended up at an out of hours doctor around 2am who sent us straight to the children's ward at Chesterfield Hospital.”
Jacob had a lumbar puncture and blood tests and the results showed he had contracted meningitis.
“I was not expecting the results to be meningitis,” Becky said. “We had to wait to see if it was bacterial meningitis or viral - that week was the longest week of my life.
Jacob was confirmed with viral meningitis and after a week in hospital had made a good recovery and was allowed home.
“He is now two-and-a-half-years-old and is such a cheeky chap,” Becky added. “We were so lucky that he got the treatment he needed; lots of children aren't that lucky.”
Kirsty Owen-Hayward, Events Officer at Meningitis Now said: “We’re so grateful to Becky for her support. As a charity that receives no Government funding we rely entirely on the generosity, energy and initiative of our supporters to raise the vital funds we need to carry out our work.
“Her efforts will make a real difference to those who are at risk from meningitis and those whose lives have already been changed forever because of it.”
Meningitis Now is working towards a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need.
The charity has places for this year’s Great North Run. Anyone interested in taking part should visit the website https://www.meningitisnow.org/support-us/events/fundraising-events/events-by-location/great-north-run/ for more information.