Fibromyalgia is misunderstood, sufferers receive little support

A man from Grays is taking on the mammoth challenge of running 100km in a 24 hour period next May to highlight and raise money for the invisible illness Fibromyalgia.

Luke Bowes, 26, is running the ultra-marathon from London to Brighton. The event is 62 miles long or 100km.

Luke, who runs a ecommerce business said: “Professionals are expected to complete the route in seven to eight hours but I’m hoping to run it in under 16 hours. It’s a very early start with some runners starting at 4am.

“There are rest stations on route with free food, drinks and toilets, so you can take it at your own pace. There will be walkers, joggers and runners in this event. I have done marathons before so I hope to run most of it although I have never done anything this hard.”

Luke is hoping to raise £500 for Fibromyalgia Action UK, who provide support for sufferers and medical professionals and creates awareness of the condition.

Luke’s mum Caroline and one of his closest friends, Abbie, both suffer from Fibromyalgia. It is a long term condition that causes pain all over body. People who have this condition also suffer with increased sensitivity, muscle stiffness, fatigue and extreme tiredness.

Luke said: “The first time we heard about the condition was when mum was diagnosed by a specialist. They really struggle to do simple things that the rest of us take for granted like making a sandwich or popping to the shops.

“There is little support or understanding from the government and many people have not heard of this condition. Fibo Fog is a frequent symptom of fibromyalgia. It is used to describe the mental related symptoms including poor memory, directional difficulties and confusion. This can make sufferers unintentionally isolate themselves which can then lead to further mental health conditions.”

No cure

“There is no cure and sufferers find that different treatments work for different individuals. My mum is lucky she has found something that works but Abbie has not yet. They both have good days and bad.”

Luke is running about four to five times a week at the moment but this will increase to six times a week nearer the time.

“I wanted the challenge to reflect how a person feels who suffers from Fibromyalgia. They have to keep going and push through the difficult times. What my body will feel training and running that distance is, to be honest, probably a small taster of what they can go through on a daily basis,” he added.


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