I am running three half marathons in six weeks - Livingston on 14th April, Stirling on 28th April and Edinburgh on 26th May - to raise money for Invest in ME Research. They are an independent UK charity funding biomedical research into Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, otherwise known as ME.
ME is a severe long term illness that blights a life entirely, resulting in greater functional impairment than Multiple Sclerosis or Cancer - but it's a condition largely ignored or misunderstood by the majority of the public - 'for people who don't feel like going to work today' as Ricky Gervais once put it. If I'm being truthful that was pretty much my view too until a few years ago, when my previously perfectly healthy sister-in-law contracted the condition. The effect on her has been devastating - she has had to give up her job and is now housebound, having to use a wheelchair on the rare occasions she is able to venture out.
Research is still in its infancy and more studies are needed to identify it's cause and develop treatments. I've chosen to raise money for this particular charity as it run entirely by volunteers - patients or parents of children with ME - with no paid staff. Overheads are kept to a minimum and every penny raised goes to promoting education of, and funding for biomedical research into, ME. Invest in ME are focused on setting up a UK Centre of Excellence for ME which will provide proper examinations, diagnosis and, in time, treatments and cures.
All of which means the least I can do to help is drag my ageing bones around 13.1 miles not once, not twice but three times - and your support in helping me do this would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you so much.