A key message for World Meningitis Day will be a timely reminder to us all that we need to know the symptoms.
One mother from Tokoroa knows all too well the importance of recognising symptoms after she almost lost her son to the disease in 2003.
In 2003, at age seven, Kardas Jackson-Kaea contracted meningococcal septicaemia, and this coming July, he turns 19, but he still suffers from the effects of the illness.
There are many forms of meningitis, but younger children are most at risk from this disease. In 2001, 11 people died from this disease, which is why doctors are pushing for people to know the symptoms and to vaccinate.
Kardas Jackson-Kaea has marked many milestones in sports and his mother says there's nothing in this world more precious than his life.
"To any parent, we know our kids, we know that they're not just trying to take time off school, or, they are not just trying to play up, if they are sick and active like he was and he always has been, any little symptom just take them in."
World Meningitis Day is a timely reminder for us all to familiarise ourselves with the symptoms.