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As many of you I am sure are aware my wife Vicki was diagnosed with M.E (a neurological disease called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, damage to her spinal cord and nervous system) five years ago. This is a very life changing and debilitating illness, that is very misunderstood and unrecognised. It affects all aspects of the sufferer's life and close family and friends. Many of Vicki's symptoms are with her every day without fail, we cannot remember a day that she was not in pain on some level, other symptoms include, numbness of her limbs affecting her ability to move around on some days, brain fog and cognitive problems, disorientation, pain and fatigue, confidence and anxiety, sickness and dizziness, uncontrollable shakes and tremors, black outs and sleep problems It is difficult to imagine and people often don't see us at her worst. It is hard to watch someone you love change so much before your eyes and not be able to help them. Obviously, we have good days and bad and we are gradually learning more about the illness and understanding how to best manage the symptoms.
This is the experience of thousands of people with the chronic neurological condition myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.), sometimes diagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS, or M.E./CFS), which affects around 250,000 people in the UK, and 17 million worldwide.
A lack of understanding and awareness about M.E. means sufferers can experience disbelief, and even discrimination, from friends, family, health and social care professionals and employers.
Action for M.E (www.actionforme.org.uk) takes action to end the ignorance, injustice and neglect faced by people with M.E. They are one of a small number of charities that are funding much-needed research into this debilitating illness and I will be running the "Grim Challenge" to raise funds to assist them with this.
The Grim Challenge (www.grimchallenge.co.uk) is an 8-mile cross country run across the Army Vehicle test centre in early December. Those of you who know me will know that I was definitely not built for Cross Country Running, especially in early December!!
Any support you can offer will be greatly appreciated, not only by me but by all those at Action for ME.