A Fulwood man and his young daughter have joined forces to help sufferers of a poorly understood disease.
Darren Crossley is marking his 50th birthday with a gruelling 50 mile run to raise money for Action for M.E, a charity that aims to end the ignorance, injustice and neglect faced by people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.).
He will be taking part in the Lakes in a Day event today (Saturday 12 October), which is described as “a 50 mile ultra run from Caldbeck to Cartmel.”
Following an arduous 4000m ascent the runners will be journeying on foot from the very top of the Lake District at Caldbeck to the very bottom, at Cartmel, via the wild terrain of Helvellyn Ridge.
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Darren will be cheered on by his family, including daughters Poppy, Millie and Isobel. His wife Helen has supported him by holding the fort whilst her husband braved steep fells, freezing wind and rain, and on one occasion a sprained ankle and a furious buzzard.
Meanwhile, his inspired 11-year-old daughter Izzy decided to help by writing and delivering a talk to her school about M.E. She and her friends will also be holding a bake sale to raise even more funds.
Explaining why he chose to raise money for Action for M.E, Darren said: “A lot of people wrongly think that M.E. is a mental illness, or just people feeling tired. In fact it’s a long term neurological condition that can devastate the nervous and immune systems.
“I have a relative with this disease who used to teach salsa and loved going to the gym, but now she is mostly housebound and can’t walk for any distance without being exhausted and in pain. There are thousands of people in the same situation who just want their lives back.”
To support Darren and Izzy with their fundraising, visit JustGiving.
Further information about M.E. can be found on the ME Association website and the Action for M.E. website.
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Do you have M.E. or know someone who does? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.