This year our annual big run is to raise funds for the “Invest in ME” charity. We are undertaking a non-stop "End to End" run from Mizen Head (the most southerly point of Ireland) to Malin Head (the most northerly point of Ireland) and are raising money for a number of charities including "Invest in M.E." - (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis).
Just over two years ago my wife Sally was diagnosed with ME after undergoing a simple hospital day procedure involving a general anaesthetic. Since then she has lost her job as a college lecturer and has had to make radical changes to her day to day lifestyle. I’ll let her explain in her own words.
“I have not always been ill. Prior to the onset of ME I was very active and enjoyed many outdoor hobbies such as riding, cycling, gardening, swimming, walking and… well, you get the picture - I led a normal busy, active family life. Unfortunately Myalgic Encephalomyelitis stole my active life in March 2012. Suddenly I was unable to work, or to function normally. I kept expecting to "get back to normal" but every day I felt drained! I just couldn't bounce back and kept asking "Why?" Sadly there are few medical answers for ME and no realistic treatment options, so I was just left to get on with things. And, this is how I still am! I run out of ooommmphfff very quickly and I make myself permanently worse every time I try to push my boundaries!”
ME is a very poorly understood disease with approximately 7000 sufferers in Northern Ireland. Often discounted as "just tiredness" it is a debilitating neurological disease which is just now being recognised by some of the medical establishment in the UK and Ireland. No effective treatment currently exists and sufferers are left very much on their own to cope. Invest in ME is a UK based charity set up to fund bio-medical research into this disease and develop an effective treatment for the disease. Further information can be found on the Invest in ME website - www.investinme.org