A WORTHING woman whose grand-daughter tragically died from meningitis aged just 13 months is running the Brighton Marathon to help fund research into a vaccine to protect against the disease.
Helen Hancorn’s family were devastated after baby Mariah died in December, 2009.
Helen, 44 of Upper Brighton Road, said: “Never a day goes by when Mariah is not in my thoughts. I miss her so much.
“She showed no signs to alarm us, just a slight temperature – we thought she was teething.
“She went to bed as normal after finishing her bottle of milk but, sadly, died in her sleep.”
Tests confirmed Mariah had died from meningitis B, a disease which causes inﬂammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord.
Although there is a successful vaccine to protect against the meningitis C strain, there is still no vaccine to protect against several other deadly strains, including the most common – meningitis B.
Helen said: “The more research that can be done, the more chances a vaccine will eventually be found and people will no longer die or be left permanently disabled.
“If just one life can be saved from my fund-raising, it is worth it.”
Together with colleague Charlene Parsons, 22, Helen will be running in the Brighton Marathon on April 10 and hopes to raise £3,000 for Meningitis UK.
Helen has taken part in fund-raising activities and events for the charity in the past, including a sponsored 13-mile walk.
She is planning a charity ball at the Charmandean Centre, in Forest Road, in September to raise further funds for the charity.
To sponsor Helen, visit www.justgiving.com/Helen-Hancorn (see external link to the top right of this story).
For more information about the charity ball, or to donate raffle prizes, contact Helen by emailing Helen@kardinalhealthcare.co.uk.