Aylsham High teacher ready to run in memory of tragic teenage brother

Danny Sweatman is running the London Marathon in memory of his brother Ryan, who died from meningitis aged 19. Danny (left) with Ryan. Pic: submitted Danny Sweatman is running the London Marathon in memory of his brother Ryan, who died from meningitis aged 19. Danny (left) with Ryan. Pic: submitted

Lucy Clapham lucy.clapham@archant.co.uk
Monday, January 27, 2014
8:42 AM

An Aylsham teacher will have his school behind him when he takes part in the London Marathon in memory of his teenage brother who died from meningitis.

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Danny Sweatman lost his brother Ryan two years ago, after the 19-year-old was struck down with the disease and died in his sleep.

Mr Sweatman, a pastoral teacher at Aylsham High School, will be pounding the capital’s streets in aid of the Meningitis Research Foundation, and hopes to bring the total he and his family have raised since Ryan’s death to £60,000.

The race will be particularly poignant as he will also be running in memory of his youngest brother Joe, who tragically died from pneumococcal meningitis in 1991, at just seven weeks old.

Mr Sweatman said: “It’s going to be really tough. I have been training for about six months and picked up every injury under the sun, but the reasons for doing it far outweigh any sort of pain. I’m certainly suffering at the moment but somehow, even if I’m crawling, I’ll cross that line.”

The 28-year-old, who is head of the school’s Felbrigg House, has taken part in numerous fundraisers in the wake of Ryan’s death in January 2012, but London is his first marathon. But he will not be doing it alone as he will be joined on the 26-mile route by English teacher Jayne Hudson, and together they hope to raise £7,000.

To help reach their target they have organised a series of in-school activities during a meningitis awareness week, beginning on February 10, and culminating in a Valentine’s ball.

Staff and students will be taking part in arm wrestling tournaments, sponge the teacher games and a mufti day. Shirley Gieron, from the foundation, will visit the school to talk about the importance of meningitis awareness.

And although their big fundraising push does not get under way until next month, the colleagues have already raised a fifth of their total.

Mr Sweatman said: “Students have put money in just by doing fundraising off their own back, which is quite incredible. It’s lovely to see. My family and I continue to be overwhelmed by the support and generosity we encounter every single day.”

Tickets for the ball on February 14 cost £25 and include a drink, food and a raffle ticket. For tickets call Sue Tartt on 07760 849209 or email startt@aylshamhigh.norfolk.sch.uk

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