As before we’re donning both the terrific and the tasteless in the name of festive spirit and charity. This time around we’re supporting ‘Invest In ME’, the chosen charity of our chief techie consultant Mike Harley who has been running marathons all year in the name of ME research projects.
One of Mike’s best mates, Ian, has had Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) for over 9 years and been unable to work and lead a normal life having been struck down by the illness along with over 250,000 other sufferers in the UK. Currently there’s no cure or treatment for ME where effects can include severe fatigue, muscular and joint pains, impaired memory, swollen glands and painful headaches. The condition is the most common cause of long term school absence and affects over 25,000 children in the UK. In cases of severe ME, 25% of sufferers can be bed-bound for years. Invest In ME are an entirely voluntarily run charity of patients and families who have so far crowd-funded over £600K in 2 years. Their aim is to create a diagnosis and treatment centre in the UK whilst also attempting to replicate the success of a ground-breaking drug trial in Norway which has so far seen over 67% of patients make a full or significant recovery.
Mike has set himself a challenge to raise funds and awareness for Invest In ME by running a marathon in every country in the EU (28 in total!). So far he’s completed 4 out of 28 with races completed in Czech Rep, Finland and Ireland this year. Next year he’s ticking off Greece, Sweden, Poland and France where he’ll be meeting with ME patient groups, charities and media to publicise the need for funding biomedical research projects to help find a cure for the illness. Hoping to have the challenge completed within 4-5 years, Mike will have run over 10,000 miles in training and races and burnt out 20 pairs of running shoes.