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Fundraising Stories

Ruth is Running for FMA UK - UPDATED!

photograph of fundraiser Ruth running in the London Marthon 2021

Ruth is taking part in a series of runs leading up to the big one - London Marathon 2021

Click here to donate to her fundraising campaign. Read on for more about Ruth.

LONDON MARATHON 2021 UPDATE - “I survived!!! The London Marathon was everything I had ever hoped it would be!

The stress and anxiety preceding the day itself sadly caused a big fibro flare with chronic back pain and fatigue. That accompanied by a chesty cold meant that I was dreading the extra, extra challenges that I was sure to face on Sunday.

However, Marathon Day was probably the best day of my life! Having dreamt about doing it for 40 years, it really was a dream come true. The atmosphere was indescribable and the wall of noise from spectators and bands lining the route was deafening!

I was prepared for the inevitable pain that would accompany this bonkers challenge but had to dig extra deep with mental strategies, a few stops to relieve foot pain and a lie down to stretch out the back. I even gave 'fibromyalgia' a friendly talking to...allowing it to come with me on this journey but not letting it define me.

I felt proud to be wearing the FMA UK vest and in doing so, raising awareness on the streets of London for this charity.

The enormity of what I have achieved in completing my dream goal whilst 'befriending fibromyalgia' hasn't really sunk in yet but for now, I will continue to wear my medal with pride and spread the word to anyone who has the time to listen.

I have so nearly reached my target fundraising goal of £1,000 so hopefully just a few more donations can help this to be achieved too.” - LONDON MARATHON 2021 UPDATE

“Hi, my name is Ruth and 7 months ago, after 4 years of visiting 5 different consultants, I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Whilst this was not the best news to receive, it came as such a relief that I wasn’t imagining all the different varieties and levels of pain, fatigue and weakness. Since the diagnosis, my life has changed so much. I feel that I have no choice but to accept the fibro, ‘befriend it’ and deal with it as best as I can. Working now only part-time, learning meditation/mindfulness techniques and above all, continuing with exercise are all helping me to learn what works and what doesn’t work.

I have been a runner for many, many years so it came as a huge surprise that I could have fibro whilst still being able to regularly run. What came as a bigger surprise was to gain a place in this year’s London Marathon on 3rd October. To take part in this event after 40 years of watching it in awe and admiration, is a dream come true for me. Accepting the ‘extra challenge’ of running in constant pain and abandoning everything when the fog, fatigue, pain and weakness is at its worst has ignited a fighting spirit within me.

I am determined to get to the start/finish line of the London Marathon and help to raise funds and awareness for FMA UK. Having already completed some Half Marathons in preparation for the biggest event of my life, I can honestly say that I was both privileged and proud to wear the FMA UK vest and by doing so, help to raise awareness of this debilitating condition.

So today I completed my fourth Half Marathon in preparation for THE BIG ONE…THE LONDON MARATHON on 3rd October. Coincidently, today is also the start of Fibromyalgia Awareness week. I can honestly say that today I felt both privileged and proud to wear the FMA UK vest and by doing so, to help raise awareness of this debilitating condition.

The journey so far has been a huge, character-building learning curve in managing fibro symptoms whilst building up longer and longer runs so thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way. This ‘fibro-warrior’ is determined to ‘befriend’ this chronic condition and help other sufferers like me.

If you would like to find out more about the condition please click the link below or if you can spare a penny or two for this charity then my justgiving page is there too. Onwards and upwards everyone :O)

Any help in reaching my fundraising target would be greatly appreciated”. - Please click here to give.


Lucy runs the Windsor Half-Marathon in aid of FMA UK

photo of Lucy in FMA UK running vest

Lucy shares her experience of having fibro and why she is keen to raise awareness and funds to support those with the condition.

Click here to donate to Lucy's Windsor Half-Marathon Campaign

“I first started to get symptoms when I was 16, chronic migraine, sickness, and lots of left shoulder pain/sore neck to the point I could hardly bear to touch it and was hunched over. Over the next couple of years, my symptoms worsened, chronic sickness, subsequent weight loss, chronic fatigue, IBS, all of which stopped me from studying, and I spent six months of my second year at university at home in bed or in hospital. Every scan, every test came back clear, every consultant/ department said I was normal, but my debilitating pain continued.

I left university with a First Class Honours Degree and a Masters by Research degree and then threw myself into my Sales career... which was soaring…then on Thursday 28th June 2018. I woke up in agony, and I couldn't move... my back went into spasm for 12 weeks. I was unable to walk, drive, see my horse, work... in 24 hours I had lost control of my body. It was terrifying and endless. The weeks were turning into months. I made the hardest decision to leave my career behind.

I enrolled in a pain programme which enabled me to start to rebuild my physical and mental strength. I struggled with the diagnosis at the beginning and with that my mental health. No cure was a tough pill to swallow at 24 years old... just learning to accept it and rebuild my life from scratch, living with the devil that is Fibro. I felt it took away my identity and changed the way people treated me.

After three years in recovery, three years of dedication every day to psychology, nutrition, physiotherapy, meticulously managing every aspect of my day-to-day life – sleep patterns, diet, water, exercise, work, rest, mindfulness. I am proud to say I have rebuilt my career and have my dream job as a Research and Development Manager, something I never thought would be possible. My company are so supportive of my health and enable me to keep chasing my dreams! I sold my flat and bought a new house ???? - another dream which is yet to sink in.

I am a fibromyalgia sufferer, so this charity is extremely close to my heart. Every day I am in pain, yes, all over my body, but with the right coping strategies in place I can keep that pain to a tolerable level.

At one stage, I never thought I would walk again, never regain any independence. I never know what tomorrow will bring or if and when a flare-up will happen, and yes, they are inevitable. Ever since I got the freedom of my legs back, I have tried to make the most of them. Running has helped both my physical and mental health throughout my recovery.

I want to raise awareness, vital funds and encourage those people with pain that through hard work and a positive mindset, you can put your mind above the pain and make progress. Bedbound to a half-marathon in 365 days was my biggest achievement in 2019. Living life in the fast lane is what has kept me alive!

To each and every person living with an invisible condition that controls their lives, I run for you.”

Click here to donate to Lucy's Windsor Half-Marathon Campaign


Dan takes on the Brighton Marathon in aid of FMA UK

photo of Dan in FMA UK running vest

Dan was due to run in the Brighton Marathon in April 2020, but the outbreak of Covid-19 saw his race postponed till September 2021.

Click here to donate to Dan's Brighton Marathon Campaign and read on below to see what motivated Dan to take part.

“My mum first became ill with fibromyalgia about 12 years ago. We didn’t know what it was as it wasn’t diagnosed until a couple of years later, as she had other health issues that doctors believed could be causing her pain, exhaustion and complete lack of energy.

As a nurse who was on her feet a lot during her shifts, the condition stopped her from working. There were some days where she had no energy to even get out of bed. However, through persistence and determination over the past decade, she has managed to get back to work and even do some regular gentle exercise.

As you can imagine working in the NHS during the pandemic has been extremely challenging mentally and physically. Not only during work but outside of it too. Having fibromyalgia can be isolating in itself, let alone during a pandemic. And the pressures of work on top of that makes it all the more challenging.

My mum and I used to run regularly together, but it is too uncomfortable for her now as she suffers from hip pain if she’s on her feet too long. Luckily I have been able to get a few training runs in with her cycling with me.

I’m running the Brighton marathon this year to help raise awareness of fibromyalgia as there are so many people who have never heard of the condition, let alone know what symptoms include and how it can affect people’s daily lives.

Whilst my mum has improved dramatically, she still suffers from hypersensitivity, joint and muscle aches (particularly in the shoulders and hips) and profound fatigue. As she used to be extremely active, this can be frustrating as there are days she wants to go out and exercise, but her body won’t allow it.

I was originally planning to run the Brighton Marathon in 2020, but we all know what happened there! I have been running at least 50 miles a month since then to keep my legs ready for when the marathon would eventually go ahead. 18 months later, race day is almost here, and I can’t wait to complete the race for such an important cause.

Fibromyalgia is draining both physically and mentally for all people that suffer from the condition. By running a marathon this year, I hope I can raise money and awareness that will hopefully lead to more effective treatment and understanding.”

Click here to donate to Dan's Brighton Marathon Campaign


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