My son, Edward, died in December 2016, within a few hours of him contracting Meningitis W.
Edward was a very fit, healthy and active, very popular 10 year old boy, who was larger than life, who lived life to the full. He knew so many people, he did so many things. He swam for LSA Swimming Club, he was on the Rookie Lifeguard programme, he entered several Triathlons; he played football, tennis and, indeed, any other sport he could fit in; he was a very active member of the Cub Scouts; he played Cornet with Lancashire Music.
Since Edward’s death I have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of meningitis within the community. And with the help of the community … and beyond, more than £120,000 has been raised for Meningitis Now. In April 2018 I founded The Edward Dee Fund. I wanted to support meningitis and related charities, but I also wanted to give back to communities, engaging and inspiring them whilst still raising awareness of meningitis and sepsis.
There is no doubt that Edward would be in the thick of everything in the community were he still here, and by educating, engaging and inspiring others we keep Edward very much in the heart of the community; and it is this "Spirit of Edward" which is the very essence of all we do, supporting projects within our local, or even wider community in Edward’s memory.
I devote an enormous amount of time to my charitable work, to be honest, most of my time with the exception of being there for my husband and two other boys.
To enable me to continue my charity work, I am appealing to businesses, and members of the public, to support me in pursuing my charity endeavours, so I can do this as a full time job, and enable me to reach further into the community where we live, and beyond.
There is no doubt, this helps me; this is my time with my son, he is my drive to do all that I do; but the fundraising and awareness is about so much more. It is about communities coming together, living life, taking inspiration from Edward’s love for life, and his sheer determination to challenge himself, to try new things, to live life to the full and to live it now. This “spirit of Edward” has inspired so many people, both children and adults alike, in so many ways, whilst also and more importantly, raising awareness of meningitis and sepsis.
I know that many have contributed so generously, and on so many occasions, but I ask now for your support to sponsor me … to buy into me, and into the “spirit of Edward” to enable me to continue my charity work in raising awareness of the disease, and raising money to enable community projects to be funded in Edward’s name; whilst also still supporting Meningitis Now, research projects; reaching more and more people with information and awareness of the disease.
Whatever you’re able to donate in support, whether £1, £5, £50 or £500, all will help enable me to continue my work raising awareness of meningitis and sepsis.
For anyone wishing to help support with sponsorship, businesses in particular, I will happily share my thanks on social media, and of course in future articles which feature in the press etc. I have appeared many times on radio, in the local press, and in magazines (Lancashire Life and Northern Life). Hopefully, I can give back some fabulous PR to some local businesses supporting a very local, and personal cause. I already have the support of two businesses for a second year, and I'd like to work with a few more.
Thank you so much for reading my story. I hope to hear from you, and indeed work with you in the future. Together Everyone Achieves More #forEdward.
For further information: fb The Edward Dee Fund ; twitter @edwarddeefund
Lytham Saint Annes, North West England, United Kingdom