Martin’s Meningitis Story

Martin very suddenly and tragically lost his life to meningitis on 8th December 1999.

Meningitis Stories

Jackie and Ray Finch have successfully raised an amazing total of £100,000 in memory of their 14-year-old son Martin, who very suddenly, tragically lost his life to meningitis on 8th December 1999. Their hard work and dedication have made a significant impact in generating funds for this important cause.

After the passing of Martin due to meningococcal septicaemia, concerns arose among both parents and pupils at his school regarding the potential transmission of the bacteria. However, the Headmaster, accompanied by his staff and the local health authority, promptly addressed these concerns, providing reassurance to the community. The incident also received coverage from local newspapers and television stations, ensuring that the public remained informed about the situation.

“During this time, we met Steve Dayman whilst searching for more information about meningitis. Steve, with his easy style of communicating showed us by example that there was a route away from our despair, which could be rewarding and therapeutic. By this time the family felt compelled to do something to mark the wonderful life of our son, all be that itwas very short and his potential unfulfilled.”

“It was some six months later before the family was able to take the first tentative steps towards raising funds and improving awareness about this vicious disease.

“It was our brother-in-law who suggested holding a sponsored bike ride and we added in a barbecue to reward the riders after the event. Unfortunately, the bike ride was cancelled due to the fuel shortage that year but we went ahead with the barbecue anyway. Over 200 people came to our home and we raised over £2,500. The bike ride went ahead later that year and more than thirty people rode over 500 miles and raised another £4,500.

“The barbecue was such a great success that our friends asked us to repeat it; so, we did the following July. Over 225 people came this time and we raised another £3,000.

“We then held our first Christmas Gala Ball for 255 people at a local hotel and raised the staggering amount of £7,000. We also try to promote awareness at all of these social events.

“The money from the Ball and last year’s barbecue is funding two pieces of equipment in the Spencer Dayman Meningitis Laboratories, which carry Martin’s name.”

“The Martin Finch Memorial Fund was formalised in March 2001. The Fund’s aims are to promote meningitis awareness locally, raise funds for the fight against meningitis, try and prevent other families from having to suffer at the hands of meningitis and to promote fun and enjoyment whilst doing so.

“The fund and all of its work, plus the website are dedicated to the life and memory of our much-loved son Martin Luke Finch. The family is determined to continue working in Martin’s name for the discovery of a vaccine that works against all strains of this dreadful disease.”

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