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Articles

Fundraising Stories

Jo goes alcohol-free for 12 months in aid of FMA UK

Photograph of Jo wearing her FMA UK t-shirt

Jo tells us in her own words why she has taken on 1 year challenge to remain alcohol-free.

"After about 2 years of not understanding why I had the following symptoms;

  • - pain all over my body.
  • - poor concentration.
  • - IBS symptoms.
  • - depression.
  • - fatigue.
  • - headaches.

I went to see my GP; luckily, I had been keeping a diary over the last year documenting my pain level and food/drink so I could show her my symptoms. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I had actually heard of this but didn't really know much about it or what it meant for me going forward.

I then spent many hours researching anything I could find relating to fibromyalgia, and that's when I came across FMA UK. I was really impressed with how much useful information and facts there were and how it was all run by volunteers! I already felt so much happier because I'd found support and information. Help like this is very valuable.

The way fibromyalgia has affected my life is that I have to regularly take strong pain relief. The worst part for me personally is that my mental health has suffered; I have mild depression and find it difficult to concentrate as a result. This has led me to reduce my hours at work to part-time.

I suffered severe depression about 20 years ago, so to have it come back, if only mild, as a symptom of fibromyalgia was like a step backwards for me!! Once I got help from my GP and FMA UK, I started to understand the condition and realised "I'm not alone".

Throughout the years, I have fundraised for various different charities. This year I have chosen FMA UK because I realise how many people actually suffer from the condition. Plus, being diagnosed with fibro, I thought it just made sense.

I chose to fundraise by giving up Alcohol for 12 months! The reason I chose this fundraising idea was to improve my mental health, as alcohol can, in the long term, cause problems as it's linked to a range of mental health issues. I was drinking every day as an escape. I didn't want this to be my lifestyle or to determine who I was. It will also positively benefit my condition!

Help to raise vital funds!! You can find my fundraising page here on JustGiving."

 

Daniel Johns runs the Bristol Half Marathon in aid of FMA UK

Daniel Johns will be running in the Bristol Half Marathon this September.

In the video below, Daniel Johns talks about his personal reasons for sharing awareness of fibro and fundraising for FMA UK.

To donate, please visit Daniel's fundraising page at JustGiving.

 

Aimie's '50 Miles in May'

photo of Aimie wearing an FMA UK t-shirt

Aimie will be walking '50 Miles in May in aid of FMA UK. To donate to Aimie' fundraising campaign, click here and read on to hear why Aimie has chosen to fundraise for FMA UK.

"Hello, I'm Aimie, 25 years old from Scotland and this is my story!

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2017, at the age of 21. My doctor actually told me that it was one of the youngest cases that she had ever diagnosed! At the time, I had no idea what this condition was and also was unaware of how much it was about to change my life. Over the years, my condition, unfortunately, worsened which has made me lose the ability to carry out many of the "normal" activities that I used to be able to do with no struggles; walking long distances being one of them.

I spent hours on the internet, looking for information about Fibromyalgia until I came across FMA UK. Not only was it a charity close to home, but I was also able to get the information I needed from them and they have no idea how much they have helped me get through the uncertain times of my condition.

In May 2021, I decided that I was going to challenge myself by getting out and walking more. I also wanted to do it for charity and to raise awareness for FMA UK and also for the people who experience the same daily battle as I do. This condition is often left out of the public eye in society these days and I felt like I wanted to do my part to bring it to people's attention!

"50 Miles in May" was what I decided to call it. Whilst 50 miles in the space of a month may not seem like a lot to the average person, to myself and many others, it can be challenging!

I managed to raise £257.21 for FMA UK and felt very proud of myself! Admittedly, there were times throughout the month that I wanted to give up, but with the support and motivation from friends and family, I kept going and absolutely smashed my goals.

This year, I have planned to participate in the same challenge to fundraise for FMA UK! I feel very positive about it this time round and hopefully in the future, others can join in too!"

To donate please visit Aimie's fundraising page here.

 

Jasmine's Skydive for FMA UK

Photo of Jasmine wearing FMA UK t-shirt

Jasmine will be doing a skydive in aid of FMA UK. To donate to her fundraising campaign, click here and read on to hear why Jasmine has chosen to fundraise for FMA UK.

"Hi, I’m Jasmine. I’m from the Midlands and have been living with fibromyalgia for 10 years.

When I was in my early teens, I started to develop symptoms what I now know to be fibromyalgia. I particularly suffered with pain in my hands; to the point where my right hand looked deformed. I was tired all the time, struggled with concentration and the smallest of things felt the greatest of efforts. After several visits to the GP and a couple of trips to the general hospital, I was referred to the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford where I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Following my diagnosis, I was offered a two week rehabilitation programme where I had input from a psychologist, an occupational therapist and a physiotherapist. These two weeks changed my life and my outlook. I came away feeling confident I had the skills to manage fibromyalgia. Of course, I still have my bad days – where the brain fog and fatigue is so bad I don’t want to get out of bed and the pain makes me want to curl over. In these dark moments, I get into my head feeling like I’m not good enough and feeling angry with the world. Sometimes in these moments, I cave in to my body and will do nothing. Other times, I feel more determined to keep pushing through.

On September 1st, I will be skydiving for FMA UK. I have chosen this year to skydive because it marks 10 years since receiving my diagnosis. Many of my friends and colleagues still don’t know I have fibromyalgia! It is something I don’t talk about because I’ve felt I can’t be bothered to explain it, I don’t want to be judged or treated differently or seen not to be able to do something. I think this attitude comes from being in secondary school being asked by my peers ‘why have you been off?’ ‘what’s wrong with you?’ and from doctors ruling out condition after condition making me feel like maybe it is all in my head.

As I’ve got older and worked within mental health, I’ve concluded more awareness needs to be raised of hidden disabilities and I can make a positive difference by being the voice for so many others in the same situation. In my career, I try to instil hope for others and it’s taught me to be a lot kinder to myself! You have to find your own coping strategies and make sure you make time for them. I accept my diagnosis and my limitations during a flare up but this doesn’t stop me from achieving my goals.

I am aiming to raise £500 for FMAUK and will be self-funding my sky dive so all proceeds will directly go to the charity. FMAUK is important to me because they really do work hard to support others. It is mainly volunteer ran and these volunteers are the reason sufferers know about support groups and are able access online forums and helplines. I am grateful for the support they offer and want to give something back.

To donate please visit my JustGiving page here. Thank You!"

 

Share your Fundraising Story

Sharing your fundraising story is a great way to raise awareness of fibromyalgia and encourage others to volunteer or fundraise for Fibromyalgia Action UK. It may even drive more donations to your fundraising page.

If you would like to share your story on our social media and future publications, send us a video or short article of 500-600 words and including;

  • How you (or family member/friend, etc.) are personally affected by fibromyalgia.
  • Why Fibromyalgia Action UK is a charity that is important to you.
  • Why you have chosen to fundraise in this way.
  • A photo of you in your FMA UK t-shirt.

Send your fundraising story to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will get back to you shortly.

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