Josie Gibson's 'thank you' party for Bristol charity
BRISTOLIAN Big Brother winner Josie Gibson threw a party for her fans in support of a charity close to her heart.
The event for 150 of her fans – known as her "muckers" – was organised in support of the Kingswood-based national charity Meningitis UK.
Ms Gibson, who grew up in Yate, knows the seriousness of the disease because her younger brother Harry was left profoundly deaf after being struck down by meningitis as a baby. She remembers the sight of her brother, now 25, attached to the life-support machines as he fought for his life.
The party at Almondsbury Sports and Social Club on Saturday was in support of the charity's research into a meningitis vaccine.
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"Seeing Harry in hospital all wired-up on the life support machine is one of my earliest memories," she said.
"It was touch and go for a while at the hospital and we nearly lost him. I know how lucky Harry is to have survived and there are many families who tragically lose loved ones to this terrible disease.
"When I was asked to name my charity of the year – Meningitis UK was the obvious choice. I want to help to raise money to support the work they do to try to prevent other people suffering at the hands of this disease in the future."
The fundraising night included an auction, featuring a haircut by X Factor hairstylist Charlie McEwan and a signed Ed Sheeran CD.
Meningitis UK fundraiser Laura Bullock, said: "We are absolutely thrilled that Josie decided to name Meningitis UK as her charity of the year. Her brother Harry lives with the effects of meningitis – a devastating disease which sadly claims 300 lives each year.
"Meningitis can kill within four hours and its symptoms are notoriously difficult to spot which is why we are solely focused on developing preventative vaccines to protect lives in the future."
To donate to the charity, or find out more about its work, call 0117 947 6320 or visit www.meningitisuk.org.