A huge thank you to Mark Pembroke and Harry Cambell Lamerton who are raising money for LDUK. Please support them here if you can!
“My name is Mark, I’m 31 years old and live in North London with my girlfriend Hannah. I love Hannah, she is an absolutely amazing person on the inside and out but unfortunately, she doesn’t feel so amazing.
Hannah has had a number of health issues since I’ve known her, however 2019 was her worst year by far. Hannah’s health has deteriorated hugely. She hasn’t worked properly for some months and struggles having any quality of life. She was initially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (chronic, widespread pain) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome however, when she tried to find the root cause of these symptoms, was diagnosed with several underlying conditions including Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria and is the most common tick-borne infectious disease in the northern hemisphere. Symptoms of Lyme Disease can include:
· Damage to the nervous system (e.g. intense pain, tingling, numbness and twitching)
· Light and noise sensitivity
· Vertigo and balance problems
· Heart palpitations
· Cognitive problems
· Facial palsy
· Fever and chills
· General flu-like symptoms
Left untreated, the infection can spread anywhere in the body leading to around 70 recognised symptoms. Unfortunately, Hannah’s Lyme was left untreated for at least five years and she is currently experiencing many of these symptoms.
There’s lots of controversy about Lyme, something I won’t get into now, but this controversy means that people like Hannah who are living with chronic Lyme disease struggle immensely when it comes to obtaining and paying for a diagnosis and treatment – this can only be gained privately as the NHS do not recognise chronic Lyme as an illness.
Hannah is fortunate that she has a fantastic job who are supporting her while she is so unwell as well as myself and her family who will always be here for her. However, I couldn’t help but think how many other people must be in this position…unable to get help, unable to get others to believe them, unable to afford private healthcare – struggling through life with a multitude of life limiting symptoms and no help in sight. This is the thought that compelled me to join forces with Lyme Disease UK (the leading Lyme charity in the UK) to raise as much money and awareness as possible.
During the last year, I have really struggled to come to terms with the fact that Hannah and I now cannot do everything we want to. Going shopping together or to the pub with friends is a distant memory, we have had to sacrifice almost everything we did and loved to do as a couple in order to allow Hannah the time and finances to recover. About ten months ago, I decided I needed to do something positive that would help my mental health… what better than ‘exercise’ I thought! This is when I found F45.
F45 is a form of functional training, a gym providing 45-minute high intensity workout classes with no two days or classes ever the same. I now work out 5 (sometimes 6) times a week and have met some incredible friends. I got together with some of my F45 friends a few weeks back and told them about Hannah for the first time. They were blown away by how tough she has had it and like me, wished there was something they could do to help.
One of these friends (Harry Campbell Lamerton) has agreed to join me for a “little” challenge starting 1st March 2020. We are going to attempt forty-five F45 classes in 31 days…!
All money raised for this challenge will go straight to Lyme Disease UK. LDUK are a charity ran by volunteers, who campaign for increased knowledge and awareness of Lyme Disease and the associated factors.
It’s my hope that the money we raise through this challenge will go toward better research and more understanding of this disease, ultimately increasing awareness and the possibility that more and more people will get the treatment and help that they need.
I ask you all to please spare whatever you can and help me in doing something to support my lovely Hannah and everyone else in the UK who is battling Lyme.
To support Mark and Harry, please go to their fundraising page here. Best of luck with the challenge guys, and a huge thank you again!