Michelle Bresnahan

Michelle's Marathon for Ryan

Fundraising for a Life for a Cure
raised of £20,000 target
by 117 supporters
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
Event: London Marathon 2022, on 2 October 2022
In memory of Ryan Bresnahan
a Life for a Cure

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1179345
We aim to increase public awareness to stop lives being lost to meningitis.


Have I mentioned I'm running the 2022 London Marathon...........

Those of you who know me will already be bored with my Marathon mission but I make no apologies for that. In my head and in my heart, not to mention my legs, it's a big deal! I know it's been done before but not by me.

I've watched our wonderful family (including Ryan's Dad and uncle) and friends take part in this most unique and inspiring event over the past 12 years since losing our dearest Ryan, and hoped one day I would have the mental and physical strength to take it on myself. Well, that day has come on 2nd October 2022.

Perhaps I should set the scene of why this means so much to me. 13 years ago, we were a 'normal-ish' family - John and I had two amazing children Ryan and Charlotte, who were just the perfect pair, two peas in a pod.... my world. We worked hard, played hard and had the most wonderful life - which I hasten to add, I never took for granted and was and always will be the proudest mother in the world.

On 31st March 2010, our world changed forever. Ryan became seriously ill in the morning and after every effort was made by the paramedics and doctors at our home and then later at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, nothing could be done to save him. Meningococcal Septicaemia (Meningitis B) killed him within a few hours. We had no time to say goodbye – but then, how would we? Perhaps we were spared that.

The unenviable task of telling our loved ones was our first step to facing the future without Ryan. How was I going to tell my Mum, that my son, her grandson, had died, without her knowing that he was even ill? After many hours of disbelief at the story that we were sharing, it very soon became apparent that the world outside ‘us’ had heard about Ryan too. Ryan’s mobile phone was going crazy with continual messages from friends hoping that the news of his death was an early April Fool.

The medical team had been amazing and we will forever be truly grateful for everything that was done for Ryan while he was in their care. He had just turned 16 on March 18th with his whole wonderful life ahead of him.

I read somewhere that grief doesn't change you - it reveals you. Losing Ryan certainly revealed my love for my amazing family and friends and I just wanted to 'ring fence' everyone who was special to me - which I had to believe would get me through. 12 years on and I believe it certainly has, which has given me the strength to run 'a Life for a Cure' and now run a Marathon. I cannot thank all those special people enough for their continued unconditional support, not to mention being warm, kind, considerate and funny! I truly hope you know who you are and how much you mean to me.

'a Life for a Cure' was founded with the sole purpose that some good must come from losing Ryan. It has raised £563,000 towards vital meningitis vaccine research, campaigning for greater vaccine take-up and raising awareness of the disease's symptoms. The 2nd at-risk age group of 15-24-year-olds is specifically targeted to ensure other amazing young adults are not lost to this deadly disease.

Please visit  www.meningitisnow.org for full information on the vaccines now available to protect you and your loved ones. It's also essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms that are often everyday ailments: vomiting, headache, drowsiness and fever and can be confused with hangovers, flu and now COVID-19. The rash that is often associated with meningitis can be the last to appear. 

So that in a nutshell is why this means so much to me. I truly want to pay back to all the hundreds of supporters who have walked, ran, cycled, swam, climbed, jumped out of aeroplanes, baked, sang, acted, danced - pretty much everything you could imagine, and of course, supported all our events over the years.

There aren't the words to describe the pain and loss Ryan's family have endured and how it turned our life upside down. Charlotte has been truly amazing through everything - always so positive, strong and with a smile that melts my heart. She really is my shining star and I can't wait to see her beautiful face as Ryan gives me angel wings to sprint past her in October! A gentle plod may be nearer the truth but once things for sure, it will be a PB! I'm very lucky to be joined by 3 other runners, 'Running for Ryan': Tom Carter - Ryan's cousin and family friends, Jane Birakos and James Heaven who will make the day even more memorable - massive thanks to you all.
We would LOVE to see you in London on race day - please let us know if you are coming along so we can look out for you and arrange to meet up afterwards. 

If you are able to spare a few pennies or a few pounds to support this local Bristol charity, that would be amazing! If not, perhaps you could share this link with friends and family.
I have set a rather large target to increase our fundraising to £600,000 so I am hugely grateful to our corporate sponsors, Clifton College, Burston Cook and Zing365 for starting the pot off rather generously! 

Thanks so much for finding my page and allowing me to share Ryan's story with you. 'a Life for a Cure' really does have the kindest supporters.

Love and thanks always, MichellexXx  

About the charity

a Life for a Cure

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1179345
Ryan Bresnahan died very suddenly on 31st March 2010 of Meningitis B, aged just 16. He was a fit, healthy, caring young man, full of personality. 'a Life for a Cure' has raised £550,000 towards vital vaccine research, campaigning for greater vaccine take-up & raising awareness of the symptoms.

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