Ashburton's Claire and Gerard Rushton have achieved something that will ease the pain of the loss of their daughter.
Yesterday in the foyer of Parliament they presented a petition containing 6357 signatures which calls on the government to introduce legislation enabling vaccination against all types of meningitis and not just the jab children receive in their early years of life.
The petition was then read to MPs in the House in the first order of business this afternoon.
The Rushtons lost their daughter, Courtenay, to meningitis just over seven years ago and, since then, have made it their mission to advocate for all vaccines to be freely available.
They have fronted the Meningitis Foundation's national campaign to persuade the Government to introduce legislation.
"We're doing it for every child and young person so they can lead full and healthy lives," Gerard Rushton said.
"If we can save one life and prevent one family going through what we experienced, then it's worth it.
"It gives Courtenay's life meaning and purpose," they both said.
Prior to presenting the petition, the family and foundation members carried out media duties including an interview with TV One's Breakfast and met National's health spokesman, Dr Shane Reti, in his office.
Dr Reti who presented the petition to Parliament believes the number of signatures will seriously influence the government's decision to legislate.
He said the petition will be allocated to a select committee who will call for submissions from the community.
Depending on a recommendation from the committee, Dr Reti hopes it will become a bill before parliament.
The Rushtons contacted other MPs and members of the Select Committee as part of their campaign and hoped they would attend.
For them,it was the culmination of months of raising awareness about the petition and speaking publicly about the loss of their daughter.
"It's been emotionally draining for us, but hugely important that the petition is successful," they said.
"It could save the lives of hundreds of people and many thousands more who survive meningitis, but are disabled for the rest of their lives."
"That's why we're doing it."
- Ashburton Guardian