An husband and wife from Costessey are climbing Ben Nevis in memory of their 19-year-old nephew Ryan Sweatman, who died of meningitis.

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Jayne, 47, and David, 48, Brown are trekking a total of 4,408 feet up the highest mountain in Britain with their friends Sue Goodall and Julie King to raise money for Meningitis Research Foundation.

The charity has been supporting the family since former Broadland High School student Ryan’s death in his sleep in January. Ryan, from Coltishall, died from meningococcal septicaemia after a short period of illness.

Mrs Brown, a nurse, described how on New Year’s day the family had their usual get-together.

She said: “We never imagined that within days we would all be completely shattered with the news that he was gone, so suddenly and so unexpectedly and with no chance to save him. We just want to do as much as we can to stop this happening to other families.”

The Sweatman family tragically lost their older son Joe 21 years ago after he contracted meningitis at just two months old.

So far the fund set up in Ryan’s name has reached almost £26,000.

Mrs Brown said: “The huge sums raised really shows how special Ryan was and how much he was loved with lots of friends.”

She added: “He will always be here with us.”

The couple said charity had supported the family through their grief and she hoped the increased sponsorship would mean their work could continue.

She added: “Anything we raise is going to make a difference.

“The support and help the fund have given the family has been amazing and have helped with the aftermath of everything that has happened.”

Mr Brown added: “Ryan made such a positive difference to so many lives. His family and his friends will never get over losing him or his brother Joe.

“Every pound raised will make a difference and will help to fund research to find a vaccine, increase awareness and education and prevent this disease from cruelly taking such precious lives.”

Mr and Mrs Brown, Mrs Goodall, a pharmacy worker, and Mrs King, an administrator, also both from Costessey, are driving to Ben Nevis, in Scotland, on motorbikes to make the experience even more enjoyable.

Mrs Brown added: “My husband and I have a joke that the Sweatman family are going to climb every mountain in the UK.”

To sponsor Jayne and David visit http://www.justgiving.com/bennevisforryan

Are you doing something for charity? Call reporter Rosa McMahon on 01603 772495 or email rosa.mcmahon@archant.co.uk

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