How the MRFC Began

The MFC began with a mother’s grief over the loss of her son to meningitis. Michael Longo wasn’t feeling well on Friday. Four days later, he died. When Kathryn Blain walked away from the hospital in Toronto after his death she wanted to know why… why Michael had died, why so much medical attention could do so little, why meningitis couldn’t be stopped, how it could be prevented… and no one could answer her questions.  In trying to understand what this insidious disease was that had taken her precious son, Kathryn soon realized that there was very little information available. She felt there was no support, no one to give her the help and information she wanted and needed. She understood what was lacking for families affected by meningitis.

Two years later, during an outbreak of meningitis in Kitchener/Waterloo, where Kathryn lived and Michael had gone to school, reporters called for her perspective. It was now the right time for Kathryn to begin putting together the infrastructure of what was to become Meningitis Foundation Canada. It also helped put her in touch with people who had experienced meningitis in their own lives.  Kathryn started making telephone calls to people who saw the need for a national organization and an executive core soon started to come together at breakfast meetings in Kathryn’s kitchen. Michael Redfearn had taught Michael and produced a video of his high school experience that played during a memorial service for Michael. Dr Ronald Gold had just retired from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto as Chief of Infectious Disease. He had also directed successful field trials of meningococcal vaccine at Walter Reed Institute of Research… Jeff Hutcheson reported news on a local radio station. This was the founding core of the organization and, in the time since, some people have moved away, others have joined, and meningitis has received more of the attention it deserves. Meningitis Foundation Canada has become an advocate for research and vaccination, a source of information, a focus for donation and funding, and a support for people who have experienced meningitis in their own lives.
Phone or Fax - (519) 664-0244
E-mail -
P.O. Box 28015 R.P.O. Parkdale
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8
Charitable Registration # 89751 8429 RR0001
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