Run challenge to raise awareness of ME suffering

Caroine Smith, 23, is running the Bupa London 10,000 for the ME Association
Caroine Smith, 23, is running the Bupa London 10,000 for the ME Association

HAVING seen her best friend deal with a chronic illness, charity fundraiser Caroline Smith has decided to push her own pain barrier to raise awareness.

The 23-year-old, from Goring, is taking part in the Bupa London 10,000 on May 25 to raise money for the ME Association.

She said:”I have never been very good at running. I once ran a 5k for Cancer Research and that felt ridiculously long to me.

“I knew a 10k would be a challenge for me and would force me to work hard. I think this is important when fundraising, because if people know that you are working hard to raise money, then they are more likely to want to support me.”

Caroline works for St Barnabas House and Chestnut Tree House hospices, in the events fundraising team. She chose to support the ME Association because it helps promote research into causes of the condition and has just passed her first target of £500.

She met her best friend at university and lived with her, so saw first hand how debilitating the illness can be.

“I did once think – as many do – that it was an illness which ‘made you a more tired than normal’, but most days she was bedbound or would have to crawl to the kitchen to get water because she couldn’t walk.

“She would be in tears from the pain and no amount of painkillers would make any sort of difference. She couldn’t attend lectures but worked so hard at home and managed to get a 2:1 in her law degree.

“I am so proud of her, not just because of her achievements but because of her constant positivity and strength of spirit, and I want to be able to support her and help her in any way I can.”

Caroline hopes raising awareness will promote a better understanding for sufferers, as ME also causes problems with memory, concentration, vertigo, head pains and heart problems.

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