Shropshire Star

Campaigners step out for ME

Shropshire and Telford campaigners will be putting their best feet forward in a campaign to overcome a common and crippling illness.


A county team will join others from around the West Midlands in St Phillip’s Square, Birmingham, on Friday for a rally to mark ME Awareness Week, which runs from May 11-17. Because many sufferers in Shropshire and Telford are too ill to go, the county ME Group hit on the idea of getting members to send in cardboard cut-outs of their feet to represent them.

“We will be taking a washing line to string up Shropshire feet and hoping for help in funding a cure and getting them back on their feet,” said ME group secretary Maralyn Hepworth.

“The Birmingham rally is part of the ‘Millions Missing’ international campaign which works to improve the lives of those with this debilitating long-term illness. Many cities around the world will be rallying.”

ME stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, otherwise known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Across the UK it affects more than 250,000 people.

“All types of people at all ages are affected. ME/CFS at its cruellest can leave people bedbound for years, sometimes having to be fed through a tube," said Maralyn.

“Whilst some sufferers recover, many are left with long-term problems affecting their social life, work and finances. Over the years, lack of a test has made diagnosis very difficult, but until recently there has been little research into biomedical causes, and public understanding of the condition has been correspondingly poor.

“There is much more medical concern now, both in this country and around the world, and events like the Birmingham rally with our feet hanging on the line help keep ME/CFS in the spotlight.”