West Midlands wags take China trek challenge for tiny tot

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West Midlands wags take China trek challenge for tiny tot

A group of wives of Birmingham City FC stars are taking on the challenge of walking the Great Wall of China to raise money for the Meningitis Trust.

They were inspired to swap their high heels for walking boots by the brave battle of little Liam Doyle, young son of Birmingham goalie Colin, who was diagnosed with life threatening meningitis in August when he was just seven months old.

Liam’s mother Becky, 32, is a member of the trek team and explained what convinced her to go through with the marathon walk;

“Our baby boy could have died but he was given a chance, thanks to the hospital staff who spotted he had meningitis. When you speak to the Meningitis Trust, you see that they deal with so many families that have been devastated by the disease, some do not survive.”

They hope that their gruelling journey will raise both cash and awareness of the dangers of meningitis which kills more UK children under the age of five than any other infectious disease. Becky highlighted the need for people to get clued up on the facts and symptoms of the disease;

“We hope to help people to spot the signs early and save lives. I will do whatever it takes to prevent any mum or dad from going through what Colin and I have been through. And it is not just babies that get meningitis, it can affect anyone at any age, including people the fit and healthy. Everyone associates meningitis with a rash but Liam didn’t have a rash.”

Becky Doyle is undertaking the walk with fellow wags Paula (wife of Birmingham’s defender Stuart Parnaby), Melissa (wife of Blues Striker Matt Derbyshire) and Hayley Gallagher (wife of Leicester City front man Paul).

You can donate cash to the Meningitis Trust for the girl’s trek through their Virgin Money Giving page.

You can also follow updates on the progress of the trip which began on the 26th March 2011 and hear from the girl’s themselves on the Meningitis Trust website and through Birmingham Mail reporter Christina Savvas who is also part of the trek team.

In a phoned in interview with Birmingham Mail colleagues, Christina admitted that the whole experience was harder than they had imagined it was going to be and that at times the going was “really tough”. But she sounded upbeat and was thrilled by the influx of well wishers via Facebook and Twitter. The Twitter feeds to follow are @chrissiesavvas @BeckyDoyle440 and @wagsgotrekking.

The intrepid travellers are due back in time for Mother’s Day.

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