After hearing how meningitis devastated the family of little Corby Ashurst from Tyldersley, who died from meningitis less than a year ago, aged 6, I am backing a charity campaign to see a new lifesaving vaccine introduced – to spare others a similar pain.
I am supporting Meningitis UK and Meningitis Trust’s Beat it Now crusade to press the Government to make the revolutionary Meningitis B vaccine, Bexsero, available to all children on the NHS, after meeting Corby’s mum and dad Danielle and Steven Ashurst earlier this year.
Bexsero is the first Meningitis B vaccine to be licensed for use in the UK and will save so many lives, especially among the under fives, who are most at risk from the disease.
Meningitis B is the most common form of the disease in the UK and the country has one of the highest incidence rates in the world, affecting an average of 1,870 people each year.
One in 10 people affected will die and one in three will be left with life-changing after-effects such as brain damage or limb loss.
Corby’s mum and dad, Danielle and Steve Ashurst, who are committed to fighting back against meningitis together said: “We never imagined that meningitis would affect our family and take away our gorgeous son - he died just three days before his seventh birthday."
“Meningitis is a terrifying disease that can strike so quickly and anything we can do to stop others going through a similar ordeal is our goal. We want to keep Corby’s memory alive and save the lives of others."
“We are 100% behind the Beat It Now campaign as vaccines are the only way to protect families like ours against the trauma of meningitis. We cannot let the Government delay bringing in the vaccine, which is why we are delighted that our local MP, Andy Burnham, is on-board and giving his full support."
“The last major meningitis vaccine took five years to be introduced – there’s no way we can wait that long this time. And if cost is a factor, we cannot let that get in the way. You cannot put a price on someone like our son’s life.”