Meningitis fundraising walk to remember Berkeley toddler

Gazette Series: Sam Virgo was two when he lost his fight with Meningitis (5705694) Sam Virgo was two when he lost his fight with Meningitis (5705694)

PARENTS who lost their child to meningitis are hoping waves of people will join them for the seventh-annual walk in his memory.

Sam Virgo, of Berkeley, bravely battled the disease, but passed away aged just two in 2008.

Since then his parents Sue, 44, and James, 43, alongside friend Rose Hardwick, have organised an annual walk to remember Sam and in aid of Meningitis Now.

They hope as many people as possible will lace up for the next 10-mile event, from Thornbury to Berkeley, on Saturday, May 3.

The sponsored event starts at the Black Horse, Thornbury, at noon, goes along the A38 and finishes at the Berkeley Arms Hotel, at about 4pm.

Refreshments, a raffle and disco follow into the evening.

Mrs Virgo said the walk was a perfect chance to unite people to remember Sam as well as raise vital funds and awareness to beat the disease that swiftly took him.

“We hope lots of people join us because we don’t want anyone else to feel the pain of losing a loved one to meningitis.”

There are already 60 sign ups, but the family hopes to again surpass 100 people and beat last year’s £7,000 raised for the Stroud-based charity.

Meningitis Now founder Steve Dayman MBE, who launched the UK’s meningitis movement after losing his baby Spencer to the disease in 1982, said: “We thank Sue, James and their family and friends for their dedicated fundraising efforts.

“Without them and others we could not continue our lifesaving work to fund pioneering preventative research, raise awareness and support survivors and their families.

“We wish everyone involved the best with the walk and the series of upcoming fundraisers.”

For more information on the walk call Sue on 01453 511724 or Rose on 07811 444593.

To donate, visit www.meningitisnowforeverfunds.tributefunds.com/SamVirgo

In addition, fellow friends Lisa Higgins and Corinne Regan, with a committee, are also organising the annual Sam Virgo rounders tournament and summer funday at Berkeley Football Field on Saturday, July 19.

It runs from 10am to 11pm and there will also be a bar, barbecue, free bouncy castles, stalls, children’s games and live evening band.

For more information or to sign up mixed teams, call Lisa on 07885 881145.

Meningitis Now formed after Meningitis UK and Meningitis Trust merged in 2013.

For more information on the disease visit www.MeningitisNow.org

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