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Saddened to hear of little Jaxon's passing

I WAS deeply saddened to read about the sudden and tragic death of Chris Walker's son, Jaxon, who sadly died from meningitis. I lost my son, Spencer, to meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia some time ago and can well imagine the pain that all those who knew Jaxon are suffering.

On behalf of the charity Meningitis UK, which represents thousands of families who have experienced the devastation caused by meningitis, I would like to pass on our heartfelt sympathies to Jaxon's family and all those who knew him.

Sadly, as was the case with Jaxon, the disease can kill in hours and can often be incredibly difficult to detect as the symptoms are hard to distinguish from 'flu or a more common ailment.

Also there are occasions when people show no or very few symptoms. For all these reasons, we believe prevention is the only way to truly eradicate the disease and developing a preventative vaccine to protect against all forms of meningitis and its associated diseases is our sole focus at Meningitis UK.

Our 'Search 4 a Vaccine' campaign aims to raise £7m to fund lifesaving research into eradicating all forms of meningitis.

We receive no government funding and are reliant on the general public to help us in our fight against the disease.

Great advances have been made in the last 20 years, including vaccines against Hib, Meningitis C and Pneumococcal Meningitis and our scientists believe that a vaccine can be found for meningococcal meningitis - if we can raise £7m to support the breakthroughs being made.

If any of your readers would like a symptoms information pack, or to find out more about supporting our Search 4 a Vaccine campaign, they can call Meningitis UK on 0117 373 7373 or visit www.meningitisUK.org.

STEVE DAYMAN

Chief executive, Meningitis UK

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