Lancaster's Ashton Memorial to be lit blue for ME Awareness Week

The Ashton Memorial in Lancaster will be shining blue at night this week, to help raise more awareness of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 4:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 4:18 pm

Did you know there are millions missing from their everyday lives due to a disease that many are not aware of, a disease where the medical community often provides misleading and dangerous advice, and a disease that lacks proper funding to find treatments and a cure?

This disease is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and #MEAction UK and Morecambe Bay ME Group will be raising awareness of ME on Wednesday, May 12 as the day of the #MillionsMissing.

This is a day to highlight those with ME and the significant issues facing our community- and also to come together and demand change.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Ashton Memorial will be lit up blue for ME awareness week.

ME, sometimes called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is a multi-system disease that causes profound metabolic dysfunction and is accompanied by physical and cognitive limitations.

People experience symptoms on a spectrum from severe to mild, but 75% of people with the disease are unable to work and 25% are homebound or bedridden.

This is why the term #MillionsMissing is used- those millions missing from their careers, education, families, and communities because of this disease.

An estimated 250,000 people live with the disease in the UK and many more are expected following the Covid-19 outbreak.

ME is the most common cause of long-term sickness absence from school, yet most school staff are not even aware of the disease.

Morecambe Bay ME Group, a local support group that is run by those with ME and carers of those with ME are hosting an informal virtual social on Thursday May 13 at 6 pm.

If anyone would like more details, please contact Abi Mills on [email protected]

Abi Mill, trustee of Morecambe Bay ME Group and a carer of a person with ME said: "Since my 17-year-old daughter became ill in 2016 with ME and being thrown into a world where there is very little understanding and support from education and health care professionals, The Morecambe Bay ME Group has been the best support for both of us.

"I have learnt so much and value the advice others in the group can offer to fellow ME sufferers/carers. Please do join the group if you would like to benefit from this support too.”

Nearly 80% of people with ME report an infectious onset, whether it was a viral or bacterial infection, and never recovered.

Based on evidence from past viral outbreaks, researchers expect that at least 10%-12% of Covid-19 patients will go on to develop ME following Covid-19 and the current incidence of long Covid supports this estimate.

As the world continues to re-open and more people are getting the vaccine, it is important to remember that there are members of this community who will remain housebound and others who will be wondering if they themselves have ME.

For the millions more struggling with long Covid the ME community is there to support you!