The inspirational story of Jo Yirrell

Yesterday evening I watched Mary and Martha, on BBC 1. I found the film incredibly moving, and it has inspired me to do more to help in the fight against malaria. This morning I received this email from Jo Yirrell, the lady who inspired the character of Martha. 

Dear Megan, 

Did you watch Mary and Martha, the new film written by Richard Curtis shown on BBC1 this evening? 
If you did, I hope you’ll agree that no parent should lose their child to a preventable disease that costs £1 to treat. 
My son Harry died from malaria and my story was part of the inspiration for this film and the character of Martha. I see a lot of myself in her, and just like Martha I got involved with the fight against malaria after my loss. I am honoured to have been able to help and I hope that this important film moves, inspires and engages people across the world about our generation’s momentous opportunity to stop suffering and death from malaria.
My own experience shows the reality behind the fiction of Mary and Martha and, sadly, the impact of malaria is devastating for the people who live in malarial areas.  A child dies every minute from malaria, 90% of these deaths are in Africa, 86% are children under five, but we are alive at a time when making malaria no more can be a reality; please make sure you’re part of it.
Here’s what you can do to help make sure no parent loses their child to malaria:
Donate now – Your donation has the power to save lives
Live Below the Line – Can you live on £1 a day for five days?
Add your voice – Ask your MP to help halve malaria deaths in 10 countries
Thank you from the bottom of my heart
Jo Yirrell
Special Ambassador for Malaria No More UK

I have decided to ‘add my voice’, by writing to my local MP, Jeremy Lefroy, to ask him about what more can be done to help end deaths caused by malaria.

Mary and Martha

image from

Today, BBC1 are showing a drama, written by Richard Curtis, about malaria, for Comic Relief. The film is about two women, Mary and Martha, who have both lost children to malaria, and want to try to prevent it killing any more people.

You can watch a clip of Mary and Martha here.

Although the film is very sad, I think it’s a really important message, and hopefully it will make a difference.

You can help make a difference too, by going to my Just giving page where I’m raising money for Malaria No More.