Jayden Nel inspires marathon effort

Ashley Warren is running the Reading half-marathon to raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation in memory of family friend Jayden Neil, three, who died of the disease. with his son Charlie Warren, four

Ashley Warren is running the Reading half-marathon to raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation in memory of family friend Jayden Neil, three, who died of the disease. with his son Charlie Warren, four

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A Rushden man is taking on a half marathon in memory of a friend’s son who lost his life to meningitis and septicaemia just a few months ago.

Ashley Warren is preparing to push himself to the limit at the Reading Half Marathon on Sunday, March 17, and hopes he can raise as much money as possible for the Meningitis Research Foundation.

Mr Warren, 29, of Cromwell Road, Rushden, is raising the funds in memory of Jayden Nel, a three-year-old from Rushden, who lost his battle with the disease in December last year.

Mr Warren said: “I’m friends with Jayden’s parents and my son and Jayden used to play together around his house.

“Jayden was such a lovely lad and it all happened so quickly with him.

“My son is around the same age and when it happened it made you think wow, it can happen to anyone.”

Mr Warren has set himself a fundraising target of £400 but said he is hopeful of raising more.

He added: “It would be great to raise as much money as possible for this cause but it is also about raising awareness of meningitis.

“Not many people know the symptoms of meningitis, I certainly didn’t before Jayden. But every second counts.

“So for me, it is more than raising the money. If it raises money and some people take the time to learn about the symptoms then I will be happy.”

Chris Head, chief executive of the Meningitis Research Foundation, said £1,014.89 has already been raised in Jayden’s memory, and the charity was extremely grateful for Mr Warren’s marathon bid.

Donations can be made by visiting www.justgiving.com/Ashley-Warren1.