Leeds: Farsley tragic dad raises £1.5m

4.4.08 Bob Birdsall with a photo of his daughter Rosslyn.

4.4.08 Bob Birdsall with a photo of his daughter Rosslyn.

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A devoted dad has helped to raise more than £1.5m over the last two decades to try to find a cure for meningitis after the sudden death of his daughter.

Bob Birdsall’s beloved daughter Rosslyn was only 15 when she died from the disease in 1992.

Since then, Mr Birdsall, from Farsley, Leeds, has trekked hundreds of miles along the length and breadth of the country to raise over £1.5m for Meningitis UK.

Now he hopes to give his tally an extra boost by organising a fundraising night on Saturday, April 9, in memory of the former Priesthorpe School student.

Mr Birdsall, 62, a security officer at Bradford University, said: “With me losing my daughter, the fundraising has been a fulfilment to me.

Tablet

“While I have been involved with this, a tablet has been developed for viral meningitis and now they are not too far off for something to treat bacterial meningitis which killed Rosslyn.

“Within a couple of years it might be eradicated and that just makes me feel brilliant and as though Rosslyn’s death was not in vain.

“It was a shock when I found out what had happened to her.

“I had heard about it but thought it was something that happened a long time ago.”

He decided to get involved with the charity when he was counselled by Meningitis UK’s chief executive, Steve Dayman, who lost his own son to the disease.

Each year there are approximately 2,400 cases of meningitis and those most at risk are babies, children under five, 16 to 24-year-olds and the elderly.

Mr Birdsall said that some of Rosslyn’s old school friends still turned up at the annual fundraisers.

He added: “It is nice to see that they are still thinking of my daughter.

“Rosslyn would be in her thirties now and I wonder if she would have been married.

“It is fundraisers like this that help to bring the condition to light.”

Tickets to the fundraiser on Saturday, April 9, at Farsley Working Men’s Club, can be purchased from the club or on the door.

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