'Wacky Races' challenge to fight meningitis in memory of Reggie

The fundraising event is in memory of 14-month old Reggie
The fundraising event is in memory of 14-month old Reggie

A 1,000-mile motoring challenge is looking to put the brakes on meningitis to remember Hove tot Reggie.

Ten car enthusiasts are taking on the 1,000-mile plus event around the UK in six cars, fit only for the scrap heap and worth no more than £1,000.

The group will take on a 'Wacky Races' challenge to raise funds to fight meningitis

The group will take on a 'Wacky Races' challenge to raise funds to fight meningitis

They start and finish in Brighton and are hoping to raise £5,000 for charity Meningitis Now to fight the disease.

Orlando Whippy, 36-year-old father of two from Hove, organised the challenge in memory of his 14-month-old nephew Reggie De Silver, who died of meningitis in March this year.

“Reggie was taken to the doctors and monitored by his parents but then deteriorated very rapidly” Orlando said.

“He was rushed to hospital by ambulance but his body just shut down and he died within hours.”

As well as fundraising the group is keen to help raise meningitis awareness.

“It terrifies me that something can take hold and be so catastrophic so quickly,” Orlando said. “I had no idea how quickly and mercilessly it could affect someone.

“I just want to ensure that everyone is as aware as they can be of what to look out for and how to react to meningitis.”

The fundraiser will include a series of daily challenges.

Orlando said: “Each day one of the teams will be chosen at random to set that day’s route and challenge, so we will only know where we are going and what we are doing on the day.

“We’re expecting to cover about 200 miles each day, but it could be a lot more.”

The tour starts next Wednesday (June 27) and finishes on Monday, July 2.

The group has already smashed its original target of £2,500 but is hoping to raise even more.

Leah Wynn, Meningitis Now community fundraiser, said: “Reggie’s sad story shows how quickly meningitis can strike and the devastation it causes.

“We wish Orlando and his friends well with this fantastic fundraiser and thank them for their efforts to fight back against this deadly disease.

“As a charity that receives no Government funding we rely entirely on the generosity, energy and initiative of our supporters to raise the vital funds we need to carry out our lifesaving and life-changing work.

“Their efforts will make a real difference to those who are at risk from meningitis and those whose lives have already been changed forever because of it.”

Signs and symptoms of meningitis include headaches, vomiting, dislike of bright lights, drowsiness and fever. Charity advice is not to wait for a rash – which many people associate with meningitis – as this can be a late sign and may not appear at all. Trust your instincts and seek urgent medical attention if meningitis is suspected.

Meningitis Now funds research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness so people know what to look for and what action to take if they suspect meningitis and rebuilding futures by providing dedicated support to people living with the impact of the disease.

For more information on meningitis and the work of Meningitis Now visit: www.meningitisnow.org
To donate to the challenge in memory of Reggie, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/1ktour