Action for ME is a UK charity which helps support and helps make a difference to people suffering from M.E.
What is ME ? – ‘Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) is a long-term (chronic), fluctuating, neurological condition that causes symptoms affecting many body systems, more commonly the nervous and immune systems. M.E. affects an estimated 250,000 people in the UK, and around 17 million people worldwide.
People with M.E. experience severe, persistent fatigue associated with post-exertional malaise, the body’s inability to recover after expending even small amounts of energy, leading to a flare-up in symptoms.
Not everyone will experience the exact same symptoms so it’s important not to compare someone who has M.E. to another person who has the illness. People with M.E. can vary enormously in their experience of the illness, and also how long their symptoms last. Some make good progress and may recover, while others can remain ill for a number of years and may not get better. Some people find that they don’t go back completely to the way they felt before they became ill, but they do recover sufficiently to lead happy and fulfilling lives. This is similar to many other chronic illnesses.’
Fibromyalgia sufferers understand what it’s like to suffer from chronic fatigue but M.E sufferers experience this in a much bigger way, a way which most people could not comprehend. Several descriptions of illness resembling those of M.E and chronic fatigue syndrome have been reported for at least two hundred years but they say that ‘a lack of understanding and awareness about M.E. means patients can experience disbelief, and even discrimination, from friends, family, health and social care professionals and employers.’ Sounds familiar?
Fibromyalgia, CFS, and M.E all seem to have a similar pattern of not being accepted as a genuine condition or people suffering without a diagnosis. The only way to raise awareness of these conditions if for sufferers and carers to highlight the plight they are in. Action for M.E is just one of those charities trying to raise awareness of the condition. They take action to end the ignorance, injustice, and neglect faced by people with M.E. They do that by helping to improve the lives of people with M.E. while taking action to secure change for the future. Read more about this in their 2016-2021 strategy.
Their mission is empowering people with M.E. to fulfill their potential and secure the care and support they need while working towards a greater understanding of the illness and ultimately a cure.
You can listen to a recent interview on March 16th on BBC Radio Bristol where their CEO Sonya Chowdhury spoke with presenter John Darvall about young people with M.E.
You can donate ‘Give Big for Me‘ to help fund vital information and support services for people suffering from M.E.