LIVING with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) has been a challenge for Sally Callow, but not one she intends to stay quiet about.
Sally, whose mission to raise awareness of the condition has involved sending her soft toy dog ‘Foggy’ to friends around the world to raise money for the ME Association, spoke to a hall of attendees about her experience with ME.
Sally, of Southsea, organised the talk herself, which was held at the University of Portsmouth.
She said: ‘The talk was very well received by the audience.
‘I have suffered from ME for seven years and it took me three years and many, many specialist doctor appointments to finally get diagnosed.
‘I decided to give an awareness talk to mark the International ME Awareness Day.
‘Awareness of this dreadful condition is key in the fight for research funding and the quest for a cure.’
ME is estimated to affect 250,000 in Britain and sufferers experience extreme fatigue and sometimes pain.
There are a range of other symptoms that often accompany the condition including muscle pain, flu-like symptoms, brain fog, short term memory, and dizziness among many others.
Sally added: ‘Mild sufferers like myself, are still able to work, though with difficulty. However, at the other end of the spectrum are severe sufferers who are unable to move due to muscle pain and exhaustion.
‘Unfortunately, due to the invisible nature of the illness it is, more often than not, down to sufferers to do fundraising and awareness raising.’
Derek and Pauline Usher, of North End, attended Sally’s talk.
They said: ‘Most people would have found it hard to stand for so long to do what Sally did, and above all, to keep it interesting throughout which she also did so well.
‘We were both really impressed and it gave us a much clearer understanding about this wicked disease that’s for sure.’
More information on Sally’s ‘Foggy’s World Tour’ campaign can be found at mefoggydog.org and more information on ME can be found at meassociation.org.uk