Rochdale dad whose baby daughter survived meningitis to take part in Great Manchester Run

Date published: 17 February 2019

A Rochdale dad is lacing up his running shoes once again for the Great Manchester Run to raise funds for the Meningitis Research Foundation after his daughter overcame bacterial meningitis when she was a baby.

Paul Bottomley, 36, from Rochdale, last year took part in the Great Manchester Run after his daughter survived the deadly disease.

Paul, a teacher at Greenhill Academy in Oldham, said: “I took part in the Manchester 10k to raise funds for the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) because my youngest daughter Katie contracted bacterial meningitis when she was five weeks old.

“It was a Sunday morning when we discovered Katie had meningitis.

“She was weak and floppy and was running a temperature of over 40°C.

“Once we checked her skin, we could see a rash and it was at this point that we contacted the emergency doctor who advised us to take her to the hospital.

“She was in hospital for five days and has since made a full recovery and is now a healthy happy three-year-old.

“I ran to raise funds for MRF which works to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms so that other parents know what to look out for. It’s a fabulous team and it was a pleasure to run for TeamMRF, so much so I’m doing it again in 2019.

“My mum and dad have been hard at work knitting chicks to sell at Easter to help raise money for MRF too. They have bought boxes of Crème eggs to go in them.”

Knitted chicks to sell at Easter to help raise money for Meningitis Research Foundation
Knitted chicks to sell at Easter to help raise money for Meningitis Research Foundation 

Free places are currently available with MRF in either the 10K or half marathon. Both races take in the sights of Manchester and the city centre location guarantees big crowds and a fantastic atmosphere.

Anyone looking for a New Year challenge is welcome to apply for a charity place with MRF, regardless of whether they’ve been affected by the disease personally or not.

By joining Team MRF runners will be given a fundraising pack, training advice, a running vest with iron on name, and support from MRF’s dedicated fundraising team.

Meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases that strike without warning. One in ten people affected will die and a third of survivors will be left with after-effects, some as serious as brain damage, amputations, blindness or hearing loss. Babies, toddlers and teenagers are the most at risk but anyone can be affected at any age.

The money that runners raise at the Great Manchester Run will help support MRF’s lifesaving research into the prevention, detection and early treatment of meningitis and septicaemia and will allow the charity to continue raising awareness and supporting individuals and families affected.

Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) still has some free charity places available for the Great Manchester Run on Sunday 19 May 2019.

To find out more, visit or contact

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