AN EAST Staffordshire family is spearheading a national charity’s Christmas Ribbon Appeal this year. Russ and Kerry Fisher, of Uttoxeter, remember their daughter Rubie, who was just six weeks old when she lost her life to bacterial meningitis in 2015, in Meningitis Now’s annual appeal.
Russ said: “Life has changed forever. You can’t put it into words – we were just lost.
“If you haven’t lost a child, it is a pain that is unexplainable. You never get over it. You never stop hurting.
“You may learn to cope with it better over time but you never forget. Rubie will always be a part of our lives.”
The Meningitis Now charity has been supporting the family since Rubie’s death through their range of services, including a grant to pay towards her funeral, helpline and counselling support, home visits and art therapy for Rubie’s brother Alfie.
Russ added: “Meningitis Now has been there for us and helped us keep going through these difficult days.”
In their turn Russ and Kerry have been supporting the charity through fundraising, volunteering and raising awareness, in particular organising an annual sponsored walk for family and friends to remember Rubie.
Rubie developed what was at first thought to be a cold. By the next morning she had become cold and limp, and her breathing was shallow. She was taken quickly to hospital but, despite a brave fight, Rubie lost her life.
Russ said: “We discovered she had bacterial meningitis.
“With no rash and no typical symptoms. Her short life was taken in just five hours.”
Russ and Kerry have bravely allowed Meningitis Now to film their story to help with the appeal and this can be viewed at www.MeningitisNow.org/rubie
Each year Meningitis Now helps people to honour those they have lost with a ribbon inscribed with their family member or friend’s name.
This year, those messages are to be placed on the charity’s Tree of Remembrance at its Christmas Concert in Gloucester Cathedral on Thursday, December 13.
Ribbons can be placed by anyone left bereaved, whatever the circumstances of their loss, and all donations received in exchange for a ribbon will help Meningitis Now support families who need it this Christmas and throughout the coming months and years.
To dedicate a ribbon visit the website at www.MeningitisNow.org/ribbon2018 before December 7.
Tom Nutt, chief executive at Meningitis Now, said: “It’s only through the generosity of individuals that we are able to save lives and rebuild futures, through our research, awareness and support work, and your donation really does make a difference.
“We remain committed to being here to support all those who need us after meningitis as we move towards a future where no one in the UK dies from this disease and everybody affected gets the support they need.”
If anyone would like to know more about Meningitis Now’s fight against meningitis, its Ribbon Appeal, or get tickets for its concert, visit the website at www.MeningitisNow.org.
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