Eleven years on, mother plans 11 fundraising events in memory of 11-year-old daughter
A MOTHER whose 11-year-old daughter died of meningitis 11 years ago is planning 11 fundraising events in her memory.
Loren Brookes was in her first year at Cirencester Kinghill School when she died on May 19 2001, two days after being admitted to Swindon’s Princess Margaret Hospital.
Eleven years later, her mother, Jane, 52, is planning a series of events across 2012 to raise money for people affected by the disease, which thousands of people are diagnosed with every year in the UK alone.
Among the events Jane is planning along with her husband Colin are a street collection in Cirencester, a bingo night and a men verses women football match.
On Saturday July 21, the day before what would have been Loren’s 23rd birthday, Jane is arranging a pyjama party and ladies-only sleepover along with a raffle of eleven teddy bears at the Golden Farm pub, Cirencester.
“Loren was planning a sleepover for her birthday when she died but she never got to do that so we’re going to do it instead,” she said.
“We’re just hoping to raise money in Loren’s memory”Jane Brookes
“The Golden Farm was where we held the wake after Loren’s funeral, and they’ve been fantastic to us ever since.”
Jane is planning to round off the year of with a speech at the Meningitis Trust’s annual carol concert at Gloucester Cathedral.
“Doing 11 events is quite a big undertaking, so some of them will have to be quite small,” she said. “That said, we might well end up doing more than 11.”
Jane, who works in Cirencester as a counsellor, added all the money raised will go to the Meningitis Trust, a charity supporting victims of the disease and their families.
“The Meningitis Trust have been fantastic to us over the years,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of contact with them and they’ve given us so much support.
“Some of the work I do is with people whose lives have been affected by meningitis, so I’ve seen how many people.
“We’ve always had so much support – not just from adults but also from all Loren’s friends – who we’re still in contact with – who want to arrange their own events.
“We’re just hoping to raise money in Loren’s memory.”
To donate to Jane’s fundraising efforts, visit the link under the Related Links tab.
Every year Jane has written a poem to mark the anniversary of her daughter's death:
We remember the good times and the fun that we had
We remember 2001 when happy turned to sad
God saw you were unique and needed you in heaven
It seemed so unfair Lor - you were only eleven
You walk beside us in life, that’s how it will always be
We love you and miss you, our little Loren Bee.
MENINGITIS FACT FILE
- There are two main types of meningitis – viral and bacterial.
- Bacterial meningitis can be fatal.
- Viral meningitis is rarely fatal, but can cause sever after-effects.
- Every year around 2,500 cases of bacterial meningitis, and around double that of viral meningitis, occur in the UK.
- Ten per cent of cases of meningitis are fatal.
- Fifteen per cent of those who survive meningitis suffer sever after-effects including brain damage, hearing or sight loss or loss of limbs.
- Meningitis can affect anyone, regardless of age, but children under five and over-55s are most at risk.
- Meningitis kills more children under the age of five than any other infectious disease.
- The main symptoms of meningitis include a fever, spots or a rash, stiffness, drowsiness and a dislike of bright lights.
- The Meningitis Trust offers help to people affected by the disease and can be contacted 24 hours a day on 0808 80 10 388