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Top Toddlers: Sunderland charity champs walk tall

Toddle Waddle around Herrington Country Park to raise money for Meningitus UK - they're off on their toddle-waddle around the park.

Toddle Waddle around Herrington Country Park to raise money for Meningitus UK - they're off on their toddle-waddle around the park.

INSPIRED by a baby who fought back from a deadly disease, a sea of yellow toddled around Herrington Country Park to raise life-saving funds.

Amy Granger, 30, from Usworth, Washington, faced every mum’s worst nightmare when her youngest daughter Esmé faced a battle for life against pneumococcal meningitis and septicaemia.

Now 10 months old, Esmé was the picture of health at the weekend as she and sister Isobel, three, led a toddle waddle in aid of meningitis charities.

More than 30 toddlers held hands with mums and dads to take part in the event to raise hundreds of pounds for Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK.

Amy, who is married to Guy, said: “You don’t realise how common meningitis is until it affects you.

“Esmé is fine now, but she has to have hearing tests as hearing damage can often happen as a side-effect.

“We’ve had a really good turn-out today, lots of the toddlers are from Just Learning Nursery in Doxford Park, which is where Isobel goes.”

Each year, one in 10 people who contract bacterial meningitis will die.

Also, 15 per cent of survivors will be left with life-changing after-effects.

Another Wearside mum who knows all too well how devastating meningitis can be is Tanith Macleod.

Her son, Sebastian Buck, three, developed symptoms of meningococcal meningitis when she was seven months pregnant with second son Tobias, now two.

Tanith, 31, from Ryhope, said: “He had a sore throat and when we first took him to a doctor, he thought it was tonsillitis.

“We ended up taking him to A&E and he started having a fit in my arms.

“The doctor noticed three small red freckles on his arm and immediately put him and us on antibiotics. It was the most horrific thing. He’s fine now, although he does have a low immune system. We’re just so thankful that it was caught so early.”

l For more information on The Meningitis Trust, visit www.meningitis-trust.org.

 

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