The Fibromyalgia Well Spring Foundation is planning to embark on a walking tour from Langley B.C. to Banff, AB to raise awareness for the debilitating disease and other invisible illnesses of its kind on May 24th, 2016.
“Our biggest hope is to be able to get the financing to build housing for a community of people who are disabled with fibromyalgia — people who have no other reinforcements and are in desperate need of housing and moral support,” said founder Cheryl Young.
After meeting up with the cheerful and determined group at Memorial Park in Hope on Friday, April 24th, during the kick off of their campaign to raise awareness, funding and support for the collective dream of completing the 2016 national awareness tour, one thing was made clear — they were all fighters, good-humored, gracious and well adjusted individuals, despite struggling with a very difficult condition, or multiple conditions simultaneously.
The foundation’s ‘Just one more step campaign’ has started to raise money for the upcoming forty day, 1050 kilometre journey that will take the group through Aldergrove, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope, Princeton and all the way to Banff.
Young started the foundation eight years ago as a nod to the illness that left her unable to work and feeling very much alone in the world.
“It’s been eight years since the inception of it and I wanted to start a program that would address this complex and chronic disease,” said Young. “People’s biggest hope for combatting and caring for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue — is research.”
The disease can often appear after a traumatic incident according to Young.
“Once triggered, the pain receptors, won’t shut off in the body,” she said. Tylenol, opiates and natural supplements can be used to combat the pain, but still leave the patient in a difficult state.”
Most sufferers are women at 85 per cent in comparison to their male counterparts at 15 per cent.
“Many feel that they will never find a spouse, or partner because of it, but that’s just not true,” said Nigel Thorn, business manager with the foundation and Young’s husband. “A support group helps people realize that they are lovable and can be loved despite their condition.”
“Often people don’t understand the illness, or they think it’s not real,” Dawn Thomas, a member of the foundation and sufferer of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia told the Hope Standard.
The group has been instrumental for Thomas in finding support as well as having a system integral to moral outreach, encouragement, education on pain management, and people who understand.
Donations are being accepted at their office in Langley at #109-20631 Fraser Hwy. Langley Mail: P.O. Box 1600, Aldergrove, B.C., V4W 2V1. For more information please contact Cheryl at 778-278-3697 or www.fibromyalgiawellspringfoundation.org.