As many of you will already know, our lovely 16 year old son has been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This incredibly cruel and very poorly-understood illness confines him to bed much of the time and it has robbed him of many aspects of his life. He has been off school for a year and cannot do the football refereeing job he loves. Worst of all there is no real treatment apart from rest, no understanding of what causes this condition, and he is in constant pain.
As a parent it is heartbreaking to see a child suffer in this way and this suffering is replicated many times over throughout the UK where it is estimated that as many as 1 in 100 secondary school pupils have ME/CFS.
To add insult to injury, a diagnosis of ME/CFS is often met by ignorance, incomprehension or frank disbelief that there is any such condition.
There is so little I can do to help my son, but I can do this: on 2 September 2017 I will attempt to swim the length of Coniston Water (5.25 miles), without a wetsuit, to raise money for Action for ME who carry out amazing work funding ME research including groundbreaking research into severe paediatric ME. You can read more about their research fund here: https://www.actionforme.org.uk/research/research-we-fund/.
Thank you for reading. And see you on the other side!