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Amber Price: My experience with fibromyalgia and why I set up a support group

I've always been a very positive, happy person, but being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia when I was 25 changed my life immensely.  I went from a hardworking, busy individual to having to change my whole lifestyle to manage the many symptoms that come with Fibromyalgia.  I lost my career in Business Travel in the Oil industry, lost many friends who could not understand the condition and how it affected me, and lost a lot of my confidence in daily life.  However, I refused to let the condition bring me down.  I made it a point to find projects to do and ways of working from home, to keep my mind busy, giving me purpose and not allowing myself to get depressed.  However, it can be very challenging and as much as this helped me, I still found myself extremely isolated and lonely.  So, I then decided this year to see if there was anyone else in the community with the condition who would be interested in joining to make a support group.  I posted on our local village page on Facebook and was surprised to see lots of other ladies and a few men with the same condition in the village and nearby.  I then contacted FMAUK for support in starting a new group and received lots of helpful documents and handouts to start it up, as well as contacts to help with any questions I had. 

I managed to set up the Inverness-shire Fibromyalgia Support Group where we had fortnightly meetings in the local village hall (until lockdown).  It was amazing to meet other people in the same position as myself and everyone has benefited from our meetings to chat over a cuppa, receive advise on benefits, find alternative therapies and even have relaxation sessions like Sound bath Therapy.


It was also when I first started the group that I decided to organise a fundraising event for FMAUK since they had been such a help to our local support group.  It was planned for the Sunday before Fibromyalgia Awareness Day and was to be named a 'Family Pamper Day'.  In the lead up to May I contacted local businesses such as beauticians, therapists and product sellers to see if they would like a table at the event.  We also had yoga and sound bath sessions planned and lots of pampering raffle prizes.  The event was to be free entry for all the family and we planned to raise money by selling raffle tickets, and teas and cakes etc.  However due to the Corona Virus the event sadly had to be cancelled.  However, we still managed to raise just over £450 by collecting donations through a JustGiving page set up for FMAUK.  This was done through emails, social media and doing a Facebook raffle with the lead up to the event.


I am so thankful to have been able to set up a local Fibromyalgia Support Group and help others come together to deal with such a challenging condition.  And delighted to have been able to raise money for a charity which not only has helped myself but also many others with Fibromyalgia and their friends and family.

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