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Fundraising Stories

Leigh-Ann takes on the Great Bristol Run 10k

Photograph of Leigh-Ann wearing her FMA UK t-shirt

Read on to hear why Fibromyalgia is a cause dear to Leigh-Ann.

“This May 14th I’m running my first ever 10k in order to raise money for FMA UK.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that cardio has never really been my forte! But that’s kind of the point. It was important to me to do something that pushed me, something that was new. And I know that the beloved family friend we lost due to complications related to Fibromyalgia in 2020 would have found it entertaining to hear about my desperate pant heavy runs and be proud of me for giving it a good go (as well as poking gentle fun!)

Though not blood, that friend was family to me and losing her was devastating. I think about her every day. I’m running this 10k in her memory, and though 10k isn’t far for a lot of people, for me it’s about dedicating myself to a goal and following through. For her.

Watching what she went through was horrible, but she came at every day with kindness and tenacity, and I have unimaginable admiration for that. There was very little I could do to help her aside from being there as a friend, hearing her out and supporting in the small ways that I could. I hope that the money I raise through this 10k means that somebody else is able to have the professional and community support that they deserve and that they don’t have to deal without the people around them that share their experiences in the way she so often had to.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with FMA UK in the past and know that there’s so much heart and care behind what they’re doing. I’m honoured to play even a small part of raising the funds to allow them to continue their amazing work.

I’ll be thinking of my friend, the whole FMA UK crew and most importantly, all those who live with Fibromyalgia when I cross that finish line. I know I can’t do much, but I really hope to be able to support in any small way I can.”

Please support Leigh-Ann's fundraising campaign by donating here at Enthuse.


Asla's Cake Sale in aid of FMA UK

Photo of Alsa and one of her cakes

Asla shared her personal story of fundraising in honour of her mum. “My name is Asla Shaaban, and I’m in year 8 (and) this is how I raised money and awareness of fibromyalgia.

I wanted to raise awareness as my mum has it, and I know how it isn’t well-known, and some people think that it isn’t real, even when it is.

I had a week to prepare for a bake sale on Fibromyalgia Day. I was able to do it with the help of my friends and my family. My friends helped me with baking and promoting it and with everything. We made cookies, cupcakes, pizza wheels and one big cake. So many people came to buy food, and we were sold out within 20 minutes! In total, we raised £73 for FMA UK.

I’d like to give a special mention to my friends: Swara and Flavia for baking; Manasika and Sarah for helping decorate; and Anna and Maisie for helping me out with taking care of the money. I’d like to give thanks to everyone who supported and encouraged me, including my teacher: Ms Jain as she supervised this event and helped me prepare and promote it.

I hope this has helped, and I wish to continue doing events like these in the future.”


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.”

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