Ever since our Dan died, I’ve intended to do a Spill thread about my brother. But grief kept kicking inspiration into submission: over the last four months I have stared at my keyboard dozens of times, and written not a single word! Now I’ve finally got a deadline looming that has helped me write something, even if it isn’t what I intended.
On Christmas Eve 2014, my youngest brother, Daniel Clayton, aged just 45, had his life-support turned off after succumbing to bacterial meningitis. That was a Wednesday. The previous weekend he had been in Christmas party mode, just as many of us were. However, on the Sunday his partner Zoey called an ambulance when Dan became uncoordinated, then unresponsive. He was rushed into Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital, and by the time we all got there on Monday morning, he was brain-dead. Zoey had to tell their two-year-old daughter that Daddy wasn’t going to get better, wasn’t going to come home. At Dan’s funeral, donations were requested for the Meningitis Research Foundation. Such was the response that an idea was born: “£10K for the 10k”. For a couple of years, our Dan ran in the Manchester 10km Road Race with just his best mate Rich and/or his sister-in-law Kate. This year, in his memory, there are SIXTEEN of them running in some fetching purple vests, which will be emblazoned with Dan’s picture and the name Dan’s Barmy Army. (Dan was a sometime member of the touring England cricket supporters – he and Zoey were married in Sydney in a December just so Dan could go to the Ashes Test Match that year!) Remaining brother James can’t be in Manchester in the morning (he’s arranged to be out of the country for fear Zoey, Kate & Rich would make him run with them!), but I will be, though funnily enough, it’s because I’ll be working at the event. Their plan is to raise ten thousand pounds to donate to the meningitis charity . Kate has set up this page:
With Gift Aid they have already got there, but it will mean much more if they can achieve it all by themselves, as it were. I won’t be at all offended if no one feels they have the cash or a connection to this cause. But if anyone DOES contribute, then you will have our family’s thanks, and some follow-up feedback (& hopefully pics) to come after the event.