I am running the Manchester marathon on 7th April to raise money for Invest in ME Research, a UK charity supporting funding into biomedical research for ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My sister-in-law suffers with ME/CFS, and has lived with the condition for almost six years. Prior to this, she was a fit, healthy and active person. Living with this debilitating disease has changed her life completely, she is no longer able to work, exercise, or do many of the things she loved. This is the same for many people living with this cruel disease.
You can read more about her story at notjusttired.com where she blogs to raise awareness of ME/CFS
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) is a long term, fluctuating, neurological condition. It affects many body systems, more commonly the nervous and immune systems.
ME/CFS is a chronic illness that can affect anyone. The cause is still being investigated, but it can often follow a viral infection (though this is not always the case). It is characterised by a range of neurological symptoms, muscle pain, intense physical or mental exhaustion after minimal activity, relapses, cognitive disabilities, and other symptoms.
The last decades have seen no major investment into correct research into ME/CFS. Despite the severity of the illness, it is a condition that is often misunderstood, with little support/care for patients and no treatment. There has been very little funding for biomedical research into ME, and this is desperately needed to make progress in treating this disease.
The charity focuses their efforts on three main areas - funding for biomedical research into ME, education of healthcare professionals, the media and the public and lobbying for improvement in the treatment of people with ME and their families. You can read more about the charity here