CFS/ME is one of those illness’s that remains invisible. Only a few people – over 250,000 in the UK and over 1,000,000 in the USA – know all too well that it exists.
I'm into my 5th year with CFS/ME and I want to help make it visible.
So I’m planning on walking a marathon on June 9th.
Now, I know what you’re thinking.
“Steve, people run marathons all the time. You’re just walking a marathon. What’s the deal?”
Well, there are times when walking 100 metres puts me out of action for days. There are stretches of time (days, weeks) when I need to concentrate with every step so that I don’t fall over. There are times when any kind of movement hurts so much that I want to throw up.
So please believe me when I say that walking a marathon – a friggin’ marathon – is just about the biggest challenge I can imagine.
I want to take this on for 3 reasons.
1. I’m so fucking lucky to be able to get around and take care of myself. There are forgotten people with this illness who are bed-ridden, entirely dependent on others with no quality of life. This illness even kills people. I have a duty to do something.
2. I want to raise funds to help people with the illness and to support research into it. Right now, there’s virtually no research into the cause of this chronic illness, let alone into treatment or a cure.
3. I want to make the invisible visible. There’s a huge amount of work to be done to have people see what this illness does and how it destroys lives. I don’t need you to care and I don’t need you to understand; all I ask is that you see.
Honestly, I have no idea what my body is capable of supporting. I have no idea if I’m physically capable of walking a marathon or what the cost will be if I am.
I'll find out the same time you do.