Sally Callow hopes her cuddly pup Foggy will raise even more cash for vital ME research.
After two global campaigns, over 200,000 miles travelled and nearly £10,000 already raised for charity, Foggy the dog is set to embark on his 2017-18 world tour.
Through her charity ME Foggy Dog, Sally, who was diagnosed with the condition in 2009, hopes her travelling teddy’s latest adventure will raise awareness and cash for ME research.
And she is kicking off the new campaign with a launch party, followed by Foggy’s worldwide trip – taking in the Netherlands, Iceland, Madagascar and Cuba, targeting £10,000 in fundraising for ME Association.
Sally posts the cuddly toy to people who have volunteered to help and have their picture taken with it.
The 40-year-old, of Milton, Portsmouth, said: ‘ME is extremely restrictive to my life and ambitions.
‘I have so many hopes and dreams that have paused because I simply don’t have the energy to do them. I have symptoms like cognitive issues – poor memory, poor concentration and speech issues – and I am often so tired I can’t function.
‘My brain doesn’t quite know where my limbs are and I can’t move around easily.’
Sally fell ill in 2006, but wasn’t diagnosed until 2009.
‘Because it’s invisible, people don’t believe it is real.
‘We have to talk about our illness otherwise people don’t understand – we are often misunderstood and accused of being lazy.’
‘They say “mind over matter”, “push through it”, but we can’t.
‘We have something called post-exertion malaise, which means that we face repercussions from any activity we do.
‘I may be able to walk to the shop to get groceries one day, but my symptoms will flare hugely two days later.’
She hopes to promote a vital wider understanding of ME: ‘Engage with sufferers, learn how to support them without assuming you know how to manage their symptoms.
‘It’s a very individual illness, each sufferer has their own experience and ways to manage their health.’
The launch party is at the RMA Club, Eastney on July 5.
If you want to donate, go to Sally’s website mefoggydog.org, and you can track Foggy’s travels through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.