Biddenham couple take on London Marathon for meningitis charity

Kristine and Ian Dellbridge
Kristine and Ian Dellbridge

A housing developer is putting its best foot forward in support of a couple taking part in this year’s London Marathon.

Keen runners Kristine and Ian Dellbridge are residents at the Linden Homes Midlands St Mary’s development in Biddenham, and are using their own personal experience to raise awareness of meningitis, and boost funds for the charity Meningitis Now.

A coffee morning and cake sale was organised by the sales team at the St Mary’s development, which Kristine and Ian attended along with Linden Homes staff, contractors and other visitors. Around £500 was raised, which will be donated to their charity coffers.

The couple have seen first hand the impact of meningitis from the very first traumatic stages of diagnosis to lengthy treatment and subsequent care, after their daughter Grace - now a happy and healthy teenager - contracted the disease as a baby.

Kristine, who has been running for six years, said: “The London Marathon is a big deal, but when I see all the good the money raised does it’s all worth it. The family days, the counselling sessions, weekends away, equipment, funeral expenses to name but a few.

“Personally, it’s the being given the chance to meet families who understand what I’ve been through, who ‘get it’, the lifelong friends Grace has made who she ‘fits with’ just because they understand.

“These people and the memories made are only possible by people like us taking on marathon tasks. My world fell apart when I heard the words ‘I’m afraid Grace has Meningitis, and it’s not good she has pneumococcal septicaemia.”

Thankfully, Grace responded well to the treatment and bravely fought the disease, but a short time after she sadly lost her hearing – a common side effect of the illness – and had a cochlear implant just after her second birthday.

Kristine added: “Grace is now a very strong 14-year-old young lady who is achieving at school and has a strong circle of friends. To say I am extremely proud of her is an understatement.

“Our huge thanks to everyone at Linden Homes for staging this very thoughtful event to support us in our efforts to raise awareness of this disease.”

Linden Homes Midlands has also donated £250 towards their fund raising efforts.

Sales manager Charlotte Barber said: “We are delighted to do our small bit to show our support for our residents Kristine and Ian, and my thanks to the St Mary’s sales team Angela and Alex for organising the coffee morning and everyone who came along to support it.”

To support Kristine and Ian in their London Marathon quest on April 28, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Kirstine