I'm raising funds for:
An aim of a £1500 donation to the ME Foundation. (Registered Charity Number 801279)
My partner and I will be undertaking a 881.8 km cycle ride from Bristol to Amsterdam to raise awareness and funds for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
ME, or Myalgic Encephalopathy, is the official name for the disease more commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The ME Foundation's aim is to offer help and support for all people in the UK who are affected by ME/CFS, while also taking very active parts in the medical, welfare and general national arenas.
My aim of £1500 does not include the cost of the trip itself, as this will be funded from other sources such as grants and part-time work.
What is ME / CFS?
ME (Myalgic Encephalopathy or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) is a medical condition characterised by reduced ability to function after exertion.
Other names used for ME may include:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS)
Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS)
Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID)
According to current estimates, over 250,000 people in the UK have ME / CFS (more than double the number of individuals with HIV or Multiple Sclerosis)
80% of people with ME go undiagnosed, due to a lack of education and awareness
Common symptoms of ME include:
Significant physical or mental fatigue
- Profound loss of muscle power
- Muscle pain that may include tenderness and swelling
- Reduction in ability to function, after even minimal exertion
- Debilitating pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Cognitive dysfunction
- POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia), which prevents patients from maintaining an upright or seated position
The cause of ME is currently unknown and this debilitating disease affects people of all ages, races and genders. There is no cure for ME and no universally accepted treatment.
Since there is still no cure, the 250,000 people in the UK who live with ME will probably never get the chance to do an activity like this after their diagnosis. The fact that most of these people will never recover really resonates with me and this is why I have chosen a cycle ride to promote awareness.
 ME Association ‘What is ME/CFS?’ http://www.meassociation.org.uk/about/what-is-mecfs
 Griffith, James P., and Fahd A. Zarrouf. “A Systematic Review of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Don’t Assume It’s Depression.” Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 10.2 (2008): 120–128. Print.