Two Norfolk vets on 240-mile meningitis challenge

Toby Morrell, left, and Tom Hume are taking part in a meningitis challenge. Picture: Meningitis Now

Toby Morrell, left, and Tom Hume are taking part in a meningitis challenge. Picture: Meningitis Now - Credit: Archant

A vet will be running, swimming, canoeing and biking his way around Norfolk to raise funds in memory of his baby sister who died of meningitis.

Toby Morrell, 36, will be joined by friend and fellow vet Tom Hume, 37, on the challenge, which they aim to do over the course of five days.

Funds raised will go to the charity Meningitis Now and the Neonatal Intensive care Unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University hospital in memory of Mr Morrell's baby sister, Clare who died of meningitis at just nine months.

Mr Morrell, who works with Mr Hume at Westover vets in North Walsham, said: "I never got to meet my older sister but have always wanted to do something to help the charities that do so much to help other families suffering such heartbreak.

"Since a child, I have seen meningitis affect other people close to me - a good friend was seriously ill shortly after we got to university and the daughter of two other close friends also suffered meningitis as a very young baby.

"Fortunately, both made full recoveries - and this is largely thanks to the work that has been done over recent years to help diagnose and treat the disease."

The pair's 240-mile journey will start on July 11 at the surgery in North Walsham.

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Firstly, they will run to the River Bure near Aylsham. They then plan to swim for six miles before hopping in a canoe the next day, near Coltishall, and paddling 35 miles to Great Yarmouth.

The pair will swap blistered hands for sore bottoms the following morning to cycle the southern and western sides of the county, taking in 130 miles to Hunstanton. On day four they intend to follow the coastal path as they run 32 miles to Blakeney. Finally, on the final day, they plan to run another 30 miles around the coast to Mundesley and back to North Walsham.

Meningitis Now chief executive officer Dr Tom Nutt praised the vets and said: "This sounds like a very unique, and exhausting, way to raise funds."

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