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Fundraiser of the week: Andrew Maybury

September 11, 2020

Our fundraiser of the week, Andrew Maybury, is taking part in the Great North Run Reimagined on Sunday.

It’s a challenge that the majority of people with M.E. would be unable to even consider, given the impact of activity on symptoms, which are exacerbated by exercise.

Andrew, who lives with M.E. that has significantly improved over time, has been undertaking careful training and symptom management to be able to take this on.

This does not mean that exercise should be considered a safe treatment for M.E., or that Andrew’s recovery is down to exercise. We continue to highlight the harms associated with graded exercise therapy (GET) as a treatment for M.E., currently recommended by the NICE guideline, which must be removed when a revised version is published next year. Our Big Survey of more than 4,000 people with M.E. found that, even with specialist support, only one in 10 reported that GET helped manage symptoms, while nearly half reported a worsening effect.

Andrew was diagnosed with M.E. five years ago, 17 years after his symptoms began. He recalls:

“I was tested for numerous things along the way but nothing was diagnosed, other than IBS. Although my main diagnosis is M.E., I’ve also suffered from anxiety/depression, no doubt exacerbated by years of chronic illness. Over the past three years I’ve been treated for the anxiety/depression, and this has lead to a significant improvement in my overall health.”

Many people with M.E., like Andrew, experience mental health issues as a result of the challenges of living with a complex, non-visible condition. Accessing treatments to manage this does NOT mean that M.E. is a psychological issue.

Andrew feels confident that he can take on the Great North Run Reimagined, along with thousands of others across the UK, covering the 13.1 mile distance on a route of their choosing.

“The aim is to fundraise for charities who would otherwise miss out this year. I'll be running for Action for M.E. because it's a condition I've lived with for many years and, although my health has greatly improved, it continues to impact our family, and the lives of an estimated 250,000 individuals in the UK, and around 17 million people worldwide.”

We are hugely grateful to Andrew for his support, and for raising more than £160 on his JustGiving page. Thank you Andrew!