Meningitis awareness

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I was sad to read that Tiffany Pearson, 21, contracted meningitis at just four weeks old and has been in a wheelchair since 2007.

Everyone at Meningitis UK was touched to read that her parents John and Joanne threw a surprise 21st birthday and raised funds for James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough.

Meningitis can strike with incredible speed and the symptoms are notoriously difficult to detect, often being confused with flu.

For these reasons, we believe preventative measures are the best solution.

Our sole focus is to fund the development of vaccines and other methods of preventing this devastating disease.

Our Search 4 A Vaccine Campaign aims to raise £7 million to fund life-saving research into stamping out all forms of meningitis.

In the absence of a vaccine, we also distribute a wide range of material to raise awareness of the common symptoms and the need to act quickly, which can mean the difference between life and death.

If any of your readers would like a symptoms information pack, including wallet-sized symptoms cards, or to find out more about supporting our Search 4 a Vaccine Campaign, they can call Meningitis UK on 0117 947 6320 or visit www.meningitisUK.org

Kate Rowland, Chief executive, Meningitis UK by email