As well as showing us the devastating impact meningitis can have, these stories are also telling us something else. That many forms of meningitis can be prevented through vaccination. And that, for the types of meningitis for which vaccination is not yet available, it is possible to get life-saving treatment if you know the symptoms and act quickly. We should listen to them.
The question shouldn't be "do petitions work?" but "how do they work best?" It's all down to the power of a strong personal story that will help you build an army of supporters who you can call on to take action, every step of the way to victory. If you do that, your campaign will be impossible to ignore - however many signatures it attracts.
In the midst of the current debate about widening the age group eligible for MenB vaccination, at MRF we are asking government to deliver on the plan to show if vaccinating teenagers against MenB can protect the whole population, including the 2-11 year olds who are the focus of the current petition to government.
Turning 18 was the most exciting time of my life. I was looking forward to making the most of becoming an 'official' adult and spending as much time going out with my friends as possible. Those turning 18 or off to university this year are probably feeling full of this excitement and the joys of not knowing what's around the corner - gearing up to start an amazing new chapter...