For those of you that know me well, you'll know that my mum is disabled. She suffers from a rare neurological condition called Transverse Myelitis (TM) where lesions form on the spinal cord and for which there is no cure. It's symptoms are similar to Multiple Sclerosis and include extreme fatigue and weakness. For my mum however, the disease is rather more debilitating. The position of the lesions means that she has no sensations of touch or of hot and cold from the neck down and this has led to a number of emergency hospital visits. She has no proprioception (awareness of where her joints are) and this coupled with the fatigue means that she falls over regularly. On top of this, she suffers from chronic pain and from restless leg syndrome and so can often be awake for well over 30 hours before she is able to sleep.
My mum was forced in to medical retirement and has to live with the stigma of being disabled for the rest of her life. The myriad of physical complications have had a profound effect on her ability to participate in society and this has had an huge impact on her mental health. Just like other sufferers, my mum doesn't speak out about what she's going through and so I'm doing this challenge to raise money for Transverse Myelitis Society to give people like my mum a better quality of life and to raise awareness of TM.
My friends and I are cycling from Marble Arch to Arc De Triomphe in 24 hours for Transverse Myelitis Society because they offer support for sufferers of TM and their carers. Your money will go towards:
> providing sufferers with Life Coaching and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help sufferers set goals and enable them to live as a full a life as possible
> bursaries for specialist neurophysiotherapy, which has been shown to reduce levels of fatigue and improve quality of life
> family days and support group meetings where specialist guest speakers educate families and where sufferers and carers can meet for a day of activities that break up the monotony of living with this disease.
Every time I feel tired or in pain on the bike, I think of what my mum is going through and I keep pushing on. This is all for her and those with TM.
I really hope you see the value of this charity and that you can chip in, every little helps and all that.
Thanks for reading. x