Student Releases CD to Remember Friend, Raise Money for Meningitis Awareness

Diana Upton-Hill, senior music major from Bloomfield, Iowa, has teamed up with the nationally recognized Meningitis Foundation of America and Third Floor Records to release her debut single, “Your Day, Too.” The song recognizes her friend Jessica Eakins who wrote the song before becoming a victim of bacterial meningitis one year ago.

Bacterial meningitis is a vicious disease that is often both preventable and treatable. It is an inflammation of the meninges, the lining which surrounds the brain. According to the Meningitis Foundation of America Web site, the main symptoms in adults includes vomiting, high temperature, severe headaches, neck stiffness, a dislike of bright lights, drowsiness, other joint pains and fits may be present.

Eakins was a 20-year-old college student when she became ill. It began with flu-like symptoms and quickly progressed to a life-threatening condition. She died after only 36 hours of first becoming ill. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of Upton-Hill’s CD will go to support the Meningitis Foundation of America. The CDs are available for $5 each. Go to for more information.

First-year students at Truman are now required to get a Menomune vaccine. This is a new immunization requirement, mandated by Missouri statute, that went into effect fall 2004. All students living in on-campus housing must have received a meningococcal (Menomune) vaccine or have signed a waiver indicating that they understand and accept all risks associated with not receiving the vaccine.

Only two cases of meningitis have happened at Truman in recent years. Jeffrey Damerall, a Truman alumnus who contracted meningitis while he was a student at Truman, returned to campus last fall. He spoke about his story of the illness, the recovery process, overcoming obstacles and the importance of college students getting the vaccine.

Previous Next