B the change for Bella

Please join our community campaign to see the Queensland Government fund the Meningococcal B vaccine in Queensland’s state immunisation program.

We are calling on the state government to ‘Be the change for Bella’! You can help by signing our petition and sharing it widely!

This is Bella’s story.

Elanora local Bella was just 23 years old when she tragically died from Meningococcal B.

Meningococcal B is a life-threatening bacterial infection that disproportionately affects our young people.

Bella had just completed her Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Government and International Relations. She was passionate about human and animal rights. 2023 was going to be her year!

Tragically, Bella never got to attend her graduation or see Christmas 2022. 

A week after returning from a holiday with friends to celebrate the end of her studies, Bella was admitted to John Flynn Hospital with flu-like symptoms, which she initially thought might have been Covid-19.

Within five hours of being admitted to hospital, Bella suffered a catastrophic brain injury and passed away.

Bella had contracted Meningococcal B, which caused the deadly meningitis that suddenly and shockingly ended her beautiful life.

Many parents are under the impression our children are immunised as part of the school immunisation program. A vaccine for Meningococcal is currently given to babies at 12 months and teenagers in Year 10 through the state-based immunisation program. However, the vaccination program fails to immunise against the Meningococcal B strain –a severe oversight leaving babies and adolescents vulnerable to the disease.

Meningococcal B is now the most prevalent Meningococcal strain in Australia. It kills 1 in 10, and 1 in 4 suffer serious neurological damage, loss of limbs and permanent disability. The only effective prevention is vaccination.

Bella was a daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, student, colleague, and Legal Aid volunteer.

She was loved by so many. She has left behind a devastated family, friends, school and university communities and work colleagues. Her passing has sent shockwaves through our community. While her family cherish the time they were able to spend with Bella, they are determined to ensure that her death sparks change and prevents other families from experiencing the same loss.

Other states have proactively moved to protect their young people by funding the vaccine for this deadly strain.

Blair and Jodie-Lee Fidler (Bella’s parents) are calling on the Queensland Government to include the Meningococcal B vaccine in Queensland’s state immunisation program.

You can help by signing our petition and sharing it widely!

Thank you for your support.

Laura Gerber MP

Member for Currumbin

P.S. If you’d like to read more on our campaign, click the fact sheet below.


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