As the school year comes to an end, parents and kids alike are looking forward to summer vacation. For Furakh Mir, the founder of Meningitis Relief Canada, engaging and empowering other parents to take action to protect their children against this serious, potentially fatal disease is always top of mind whether it is on vacation, at camp, on the soccer field or in the schoolyard.
A few years ago, Furakh’s infant son Sulayman became ill. Both her local hospital and a walk-in clinic told her not to worry, but she knew something was wrong. Eventually, she ended up at The Hospital for Sick Children, where little Sulayman was diagnosed with a very serious illness – bacterial meningitis.
Luckily, this story has a happy ending. Today, Sulayman is a happy and healthy little boy. But it could have ended very differently for the Mir family, just as it tragically and too often does for other families affected by meningitis.
Key facts about meningitis
– This year, more than 1,000 Canadians will contract meningitis.
– Many won’t recognize the symptoms until it’s too late: approximately 10% will die, and 25% of those who survive will face long-term disability.
– While vaccination can prevent some strains of the disease, vaccines do not protect against all types.
– Recognizing the symptoms and getting to a hospital immediately can make the difference.
Meningitis Relief Canada (MRC) is a Canadian registered charity that raises meningitis awareness and provides grief and bereavement counseling as well as financial assistance to individuals and families affected by the after-effects of meningitis. For more info visit www.meningitisrelief.com.