A charity night to celebrate a little boy’s life and fight the deadly disease that robbed him of it has raised nearly £11,500 in his memory.
Joanne Mills and Dave Fleming, of Thornton, organised the evening in loving memory of their son Alfie, who died from meningitis last November.
Alfie was two years and 10 months old when he fell ill last November with sickness and stomach pains and was initially diagnosed with a minor throat infection.
He was sent home with medication but his condition deteriorated and he was rushed back to Blackpool Victoria Hospital when he became unresponsive and floppy.
Alfie was placed in a medical coma but the disease proved too much for his body and, just 24 hours after falling ill, he lost his fight for life and died with his parents at his side.
The couple organised a night of music and entertainment, as well as a raffle and auction, at the Royal British Legion Club in Cleveleys to remember Alfie and raise funds for the charity Meningitis Now to help in their fight against the disease.
I’d really like to thank all the local businesses who helped make the event such a success and everyone who came along on the evening
More than 250 people went along to show their support.
Ms Mills said: “We were hoping to raise at least £1,000 but, thanks to the generosity of everyone who supported the evening, we made over ten times that.
“I’d really like to thank all the local businesses who helped make the event such a success and everyone who came along on the evening – we’re so pleased to be able to make such a significant contribution to fighting back against this awful disease and hopefully sparing other families from the agony of what we’ve been through.”
The couple also held a psychic night last December which contributed £1,140 to the overall total.
Meningitis Now is the country’s biggest charity fighting the disease. It saves lives and rebuilds futures through research, awareness and support.
The fund-raising evening was attended by Meningitis Now founder Steve Dayman MBE, who launched the UK’s meningitis movement after losing his baby, Spencer, to the disease in 1982.
He said: “What a fantastic fund-raising evening Joanne and Dave organised.
“We’re really grateful to them, their family and friends for their support, and thank them for everything they did and are doing to help us in our work.
“Events like this make a real difference to those who are at risk from meningitis and those whose lives have already been changed forever because of it.
“What happened to Alfie sadly illustrates how fast meningitis can strike, with few symptoms to distinguish it from more common illnesses.”
Roya Armstrong, North West community fund-raiser for Meningitis Now, added: “We rely on the energy, enthusiasm and initiative of supporters like Joanne and Dave to raise the funds we need each and every day to continue our vital research, awareness and support work.”
For more information on the disease or for a free symptoms information pack, call Meningitis Now on 01453 768000 or visit www.meningitisnow.org for the charity’s free symptoms app.