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£1,095raised of £1,000 target by 52 supporters

Weʼre raising £1,000 to help Newcastle Fibromyalgia Support Group and Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre, Newcastle

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
7 days to go

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Story

Stew is running the Great North Run to raise money for the Newcastle Fibromyalgia Support Group!

Stew applied to run the Great North Run for Newcastle Fibromyalgia Support Group. This support group means a lot to Stew as his wife Ali lives with multiple chronic illnesses, including Fibromyalgia.

My wife Alison was diagnosed with this condition a number of years ago.This support group has been a lifeline to Ali.

Stew sees how much this illness affects people on a daily basis, it's a life changing condition and noted on the NHS website as one of the top 20 most painful conditions you can experience.

Stew lost 4 1/2 stone in order to prepare for the GNR, he vastly improved his fitness levels with daily visits to the gym and healthy eating!

This should have been the point where we started to ask for donations for Stew running the Great North Run, but unfortunately events in Stew's life have changed what is going to happen next. Stew recently found a lump in his neck which turned out to be a secondary tumour. Stew has had 3 operations in an effort to locate the primary tumour (thought to be in his tonsils). He was in hospital for two weeks, with 2 days in intensive care after an unplanned emergency operation due to a blood clot in his neck. Stew has been advised by his consultant that he will not be well enough to run the Great North Run this year, with radiotherapy and chemotherapy starting soon. Stew's good friend Elvis has agreed to run the GNR in Stew's place.

We as a support group have decided to share the donations raised between ourselves and Maggies, which is a charity that has helped Stew and his family, based in the grounds of the Freeman Hospital. This charity helps support people with cancer and their families. We want to help support this charity as they have supported Stew and his family through this really hard time.

Whilst you may have heard of Fibromyalgia, especially since Lady GaGa has been in the headlines recently for having to cancel shows due to how this illness is affecting her, there is still a way to go in raising awareness of how all consuming this illness can be. As Fibromyalgia is an 'invisible' illness it can be hard for people to understand, and easy to not believe, it's even hard for some to find a medical professional who understands what they're going through. Fibromyalgia affects the central nervous system and causes the brain to send pain signals all over the body, but it is so much more than that.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition of widespread pain and profound fatigue. The pain tends to be felt as diffuse aching or burning, often described as head to toe. It may be worse at some times than at others. It may also change location, usually becoming more severe in parts of the body that are used most.

The fatigue ranges from feeling tired, to the exhaustion of a flu-like illness. It may come and go and people can suddenly feel drained of all energy – as if someone just “pulled the plug”.

Our support group was born out of a need for understanding and awareness, not many people know about Fibromyalgia, even some medical professionals, so people living with this disability needed somewhere to gain knowledge, advice, empathy and compassion. Over the years it has grown into a wonderful community, which brings awareness and visibility to an invisible disability, and we celebrated our 10 year anniversary in April.

We aim to provide a kind, inclusive, supportive, understanding community where members are able to discuss what's on their mind and ask for advice and support from fellow members who have Fibromyalgia too. We also have guest speakers from across a spectrum of services, from rheumatologists, to charities providing benefits advice, to holistic therapies, to physical therapists and everything in between. As there’s no cure for Fibromyalgia, there’s also no ‘one size fits all’ way to manage the pain, so we try to cater for this by offering a wide range of speakers. We provide a safe, welcoming environment for people across Newcastle (and often the whole of the North East) to connect with other people who understand what they’re going through, and how hard it is to live with an invisible disability.

Often Fibromyalgia can be an isolating disability, leaving some housebound, so this interaction really is a necessity. We offer in person and online support using our website, Facebook groups, and twitter to help connect people living with Fibromyalgia in their community. Online support is essential. Not only do we provide a monthly support group meeting, we also run an art therapy craft session where members can leave the world behind for a bit and focus on creating, whilst in the company of people who understand what they’re going through. We also have monthly coffee & natter meet ups around the city for people who can’t always make the group. We try to vary the location so we can reach as many people as possible. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but when living with an invisible disability it can be so hard mentally, emotionally and physically living with the constant judgement of - ‘oh, but you don’t look sick!?’

It is so rare for us to be around people who understand what we’re going through, that when it happens, it can be absolutely amazing.

The money raised by Stew and Elvis will help with day to day running costs of things like room hire, storage hire and buying materials, which all may seem like small things, but they quickly add up to keeping our support group going. We hope to buy more books for our group library as members have advised they find this a great source of information and advice too, and reading is a great way to relax and focus your attention on something other than the constant pain we’re dealing with. We also desperately need new banners and leaflets to help us raise awareness and reach people living with this condition.

This money will help us reach out to more people living with this life changing condition and help us raise awareness in the general public for Fibromyalgia and invisible disabilities.

One more thing…

We’d like to take the opportunity to sincerely thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity in donating. We’re not a big charity, we’re locally ran by people who live with Fibromyalgia and multiple chronic illnesses themselves, or have a loved one who does, it means the world to us that you would help us out in any way you’re able to.

Now to Stew, the wonderful soul who planned to run our hometown GNR for us…you sir, are so brave and so kind! Stew sees how this support group can really help people as he comes along to meetings, helps on fundraising days, and has been a massive support to our group. We are all so proud of you and wishing you wellness.

This is so important to Stew, and so close to his heart, with both Newcastle Fibromyalgia Support Group and Maggies having supported himself and his family through some very hard times.

Good luck to Elvis, we know you’ll do an amazing job! Thank you so, so much for running in aid of our group, helping out Stew, being such an amazing friend, and for helping so, so many people who will benefit from the donations raised!

We will never forget such a massive kindness.

Thank you for bringing visibility to our invisible disability!

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Updates

6

  • Alison Morton13 days ago
    Alison Morton

    Alison Morton

    13 days ago

    Ali and Stew are overwhelmed with all of the love and support from everyone! Stew pushed himself a lot this weekend by making to along to both Maggie’s on Saturday, and the finish line at the Great North Run on Sunday. We are all so proud of you Stew! Hope you’re able to now rest and recoup, knowing you have helped to fundraise for two charities that you hold close to your heart! What a legend 💖🙌🏻!

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  • Alison Morton13 days ago
    Alison Morton

    Alison Morton

    13 days ago

    Sunday was the Great North Run and Elvis crossed the finish line with a smile. Massive well done and thank you to Elvis for putting himself through the GNR to help so many people, and two brilliant charities. It was our pleasure to represent both Newcastle Fibromyalgia Support Group and Maggie’s. Totally worth the pain and exhaustion we’re all feeling now. Thank you everyone for your continued support! It means so much to all of us!

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  • Alison Morton13 days ago
    Alison Morton

    Alison Morton

    13 days ago

    On Saturday we spent the day at Maggie’s, and it was an absolutely fantastic day! The staff there are incredible, Maggie’s itself is the most beautiful, calm building ever, and really does feel like a home, filled with a wonderful and supportive community. Massive thank you to everyone who had donated and sent their support so far!

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7 months ago

Alison Morton started crowdfunding

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Page last updated on: 9/10/2018 11:06 AM

Supporters

52

  • Jane T

    Jane T

    Sep 10, 2018

    To Ali & Stew Sending positive healing energy to you & your family, wishing you the best recovery...& what an amazing friend you have, brilliant Elvis. Love Jane x

    £10.00

  • Fish household

    Fish household

    Sep 9, 2018

    Wishing you all a lovely day especially Ali and Stew , we love you lots. Andrew , Jennifer and baby Jacob xxxx

  • Geoff and Laurence

    Geoff and Laurence

    Sep 8, 2018

    For Stew and Ali, and for Elvis

    £50.00

  • Wayne and Sue Clark

    Wayne and Sue Clark

    Sep 8, 2018

    £10.00

  • Peter Lowthian

    Peter Lowthian

    Sep 8, 2018

    Good luck. From Alison's next door Mam & Dad

    £20.00

  • Alison  Morton

    Alison Morton

    Sep 8, 2018

    To all the staff at Maggie’s, and everyone who helps at Newcastle Fibromyalgia Support Group, thank you! To Elvis, you’re a star, I can’t thank you enough 💖We’ve done it, we’ve hit our target 🎉!!

    £10.00

  • frank Potts

    frank Potts

    Sep 8, 2018

    Good Luck ElvisStew will be running with you next year x

    £10.00

Alison Morton

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About the fundraiser
Alison Morton

Alison Morton

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

My name is Alison Morton and I’m the Chairperson of the Newcastle Fibromyalgia Support Group. I live with multiple chronic illnesses and promote awareness of invisible disabilities and conditions through social media, fundraising events, and through our support group.

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