Re-arranged due to illness to 30th September - 2nd October 2016 will see Graham Chadwick (55, dodgy knee & lycra stretching belly) cycle the Coast to Coast Route from Workington to Sunderland, the challenge is a total of 140 miles, through the Lake District & North Yorkshire to raise money for the Diane White “To the Moon & Back Foundation”. The sponsorship will be used to support Myositis UK; funding vital research into this crippling illness, please read below:
Myositis is a general term that means "inflammation of the muscles".
The symptoms are muscle weakness, tripping or falling, and fatigue (tiredness) after walking or standing. It can feel like permanently having the flu.
If the throat or chest muscles are affected, it can cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing. Myositis can result from infection, certain medications or, most commonly, an underlying problem with the immune system.
Dermatomyositis and polymyositis are types of myositis caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking the muscles as if they were invading germs. When the immune system attacks the body in this way, it's known as an autoimmune disease.
What is dermatomyositis, and who is at risk? Dermatomyositis affects the skin as well as the muscles, and sometimes also affects the joints and in the severest of cases the lungs and heart. It causes skin rashes on the face and on the back of the hands. The muscles may feel painful and tender. Dermatomyositis is usually an autoimmune disease, but it is not known why the immune system malfunctions in this way.
It can be associated with other autoimmune diseases, too, such as thyroid disease and, diabetes and can also be associated with cancer.
Dermatomyositis can affect adults or children, and is more common in women. Life is significantly cut short in patients with Dermatomyositis. There's no cure, but some symptoms can be treated with medication.
Diane had the severest condition and passed away 10 weeks after diagnosis.
What is polymyositis, and who is at risk? Polymyositis affects many different muscles in the body, especially the shoulders, hips and thigh muscles, but there's no skin rash. The muscle weakness may vary from week to week or month to month, although it tends to steadily get worse without treatment. It can be difficult to get up from a chair, climb stairs, lift objects, and comb hair. The aching and muscle weakness can become so severe that even picking up a cup of tea is difficult. If neck muscles are affected, it may be difficult to hold the head up.
Like dermatomyositis, polymyositis is an autoimmune disease that can be associated with cancer and other autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes, thyroid disease and myasthenia gravis. It's more common in women than men, and tends to affect people aged between 30 and 60.
Every penny raised will help in the fight against this extremely distressing condition. Thank you, Graham Chadwick.