Laura has organised two successful fibromyalgia awareness events in her local community. Here Laura shares her story and how to organise a fun and a successful fibromyalgia awareness stall: ''The first time I heard of Fibromyalgia was when my mum received her diagnosis in 2004. The second time I heard of Fibromyalgia was when I received my own diagnosis in 2011. It was only then that I truly understood the full implications and debilitating nature of this illness. Ever since then I’ve wanted to do something to raise awareness about this condition, so when one of our local churches advertised for participants to help hold a summer fete in June last year I asked for a table.
With the help of my mum, sister and girlfriend we spent the weeks leading up to the event making preparations: procuring items to sell (we went for a butterfly theme, given its symbolism within the Fibromyalgia community), obtaining leaflets and posters from FMAUK, and promoting our involvement in the fete and our aims via word of mouth and social media.
The day of the fete was a typical Welsh summer day – misty and wet – so the fete was moved into the small church hall. Despite the lower turnout of people – the weather was a bit of a deterrent – we had constant interest through the afternoon; some from people who have Fibromyalgia, some who knew someone with the illness, and others who had never heard of it and wanted to know more. Not only was it a great way to share experiences with this illness or inform others about this illness, but we got to raise money for and awareness of FMAUK.
Adam Higgins, a racing driver from Chippenham who won multiple championships during over 10 years of racing, will be raising awareness about fibromyalgia during the Michelin Ginetta Supercup. Adam is raising funds to raise awareness about fibromyalgia to over 20 million people during the championships. Adam said: ‘’I am a British Motor Racing Driver and this year I will be competing in the Michelin Ginetta Supercup held in Britain on the British Touring Car Championship Calendar. For 2017 I am moving to a higher level category of racing and see it as a unique opportunity to use the car as a tool to spread awareness to people that are unaware of fibromyalgia.
More than one person close to me have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in the last few years. Upon researching it myself, I started to realise just how many people are being affected by this disease.
As it is a fairly new disease to be diagnosed, the symptoms are often misunderstood. One day a sufferer could be absolutely fine, but the next day have a 'flare up' which can render the sufferer bed ridden and in complete agony!
The Championship that I am competing in has a huge following with a combined 20.9 million TV viewers on ITV4 over one year. This combined with a combined 385,000 spectators live at the circuits, means that there is a massive amount of people that see the cars.
My plan is to use the car as a great tool for running an awareness campaign, so that millions of people can become aware of Fibromyalgia.
You can order them from our shop here.
A Virtual Runner company, virtualrunneruk.com, which sends out medals to runners on their request, will support FMA UK in February – all you need to do to be a part of it is to sign up before 24 February for a medal – or if you can’t run yourself, spread the word to those who run!
Here is more information from the Virtual Runner: ‘’We are challenging you to run, walk and/or cycle as many km as you can between 15th February and 21st February. You can break this challenge down into as many events as you like to earn your medal!
Can we together reach the stars? Submissions are required online by 12 noon on 24th February to claim your medal. The race charity is FMA UK and they will receive a minimum of 20% of every entry fee.’’
To sign up for the star medal go to: https://www.virtualrunneruk.com/product/reach-stars-challenge/
A Virtual Runner company, govirtualrunner.co.uk, which sends out medals to runners on their request, will support FMA UK in February – all you need to do to be a part of it is to sign up in February for a medal – or if you can’t run yourself, spread the word to those who run!
Here is more information from the Virtual Runner: ‘’February Medal Race. We have just the thing to help you get over the Winter Blues - Our February 2017 medal race. All you have to do to earn this fantastic medal is sign up, run either 5km, 10km or half marathon and then send us your proof*. We will then send it in the post. Remember 30% of the entry fee goes to Fibromyalgia Action UK and all the great work they do. You can do the distance Anytime, Anywhere it does not matter and that is the beauty of a Virtual Run you can do it in your local park, before or after work, after you have picked the Children up from School, you decide.’’
To read more and to sign up go to: http://www.govirtualrunner.co.uk/medal-races/
Julie Herbert is making fantastic handmade jewellery and gifts while raising funds for FMA UK. Julie told us why she decided to raise funds for FMA UK through making jewellery:
‘’I started to raise funds for FMA UK because I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome a few years ago now. It all started eight years ago when I had my daughter. It was my first baby yet the labour and birth wasn’t how it was planned (never is, is it?). The birth was quick for my first baby, a few things went wrong. I wasn’t allowed any pain relief or gas and air as they said I was too far gone. I ended up with a third degree tear, which I went into surgery after the birth. Yet what we didn’t know at the time was due to everything being quick and I feel a few mistakes on the midwives side my coccyx bone had moved to the left hand side. This I noticed a few weeks after recovery that I still could not sit properly yet it wasn’t the tear or stitches that we’re hurting me. Doctors said as everything is soft due to delivery it will all correct itself within time.
Unfortunately this never happened, Doctors dismissed my concerns for months yet I kept on complaining. I was in severe pain with my coccyx, I couldn’t sit for long or sit properly I had to sit on an angle just to relieve some of the pain I was experiencing. I couldn’t stand for long or lay in bed without rolling over with tears rolling down my face. I carried on at the Doctors but as my third degree tear hadn’t healed correctly I was back in surgery to remove excess scar tissue. This meant my coccyx problem was dismissed even longer until I was fully recovered again.
Visit Julie's shop on Etsy: