Gorleston runner sets year long race target to help beat meningitis

Martin Yaxley is running for the Meningitis Research Foundattion.
Picture: Mark Hewlett

Martin Yaxley is running for the Meningitis Research Foundattion. Picture: Mark Hewlett - Credit: Archant

A meningitis survivor has completed his latest run to raise funds for a charity that is combating the fatal condition.

Martin Yaxley, a 29-year-old sales manager from Gorleston, is competing in a series of running events throughout 2017 to raise funds for the charity Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF), after surviving meningitis as a baby.

He completed his latest 10K run on at the former RAF Coltishall airfield on Sunday, June 4 and is well on his way to raising £1,000 for MRF.

He said: 'I was diagnosed with E. coli meningitis shortly after I was born in 1988. My family tell me what a frightening time that was. On the ward there were six children all with meningitis. It was only me and one other that survived.

'Although I looked fine from the outside I was left with complete hearing loss in my right ear.

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'Roll on to 2017 and I have a great network of family and friends around me and I'm looking forward to getting married in March 2018.

'Throughout 2017 I'm looking to clock up the miles by entering different races ranging from five miles to 13 miles on different courses across Norfolk and Suffolk.

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I've done seven races so far. The 10K race on Sunday was the first time in a long time I found myself struggling but I finished with a new personal best, 54 minutes 14 seconds. Hard work and training pays off.

'I'm no athlete but I feel now is the time for me to help raise awareness and funds to support the research that is ongoing to prevent and treat meningitis.

'I hope the money will help other children stand a chance of surviving the disease.'

Rob Dawson, head of support at MRF said, 'We're grateful to Martin for taking on a whole year's worth of challenges.

'Babies are at higher risk of bacterial meningitis than any other age group and there are still some forms of the disease which are not covered by vaccines, so it is vital that people are aware of the symptoms. 'The funds Martin is working so hard to raise will be used to support MRF's lifesaving research into the prevention, detection and early treatment of meningitis. It will also allow us to continue raising awareness of the disease and support those affected.'

To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Martin-Yaxley

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