Sam Cam’s sister stricken with M.E. for a year | Daily Mail | 27 June 2015

June 27, 2015


From the Mail Online, 27 June 2015. Story by Sebastian Shakespeare.

Sufferers of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) — known pejoratively by cynics as ‘yuppie flu’ — struggle to be taken seriously.

Campaigners complain that in the past 30 years there has been little or no Government funding for biomedical research into its causes.

With that in mind, action groups could do worse than employ the Prime Minister’s own sister-in-law as their cheerleader-in-chief.

Emily Sheffield, younger sister of Samantha Cameron, has revealed she once suffered from the debilitating illness, which those affected claim leaves them so severely lethargic that they are unable to carry out everyday activities.

Writing on the website of Vogue magazine, where she is deputy editor, Emily says she was struck down for a year by ME — also known as chronic fatigue syndrome — and claims it eventually vanished after she swam in the freezing cold sea in County Galway.

‘I recovered from a year of ME by diving into the crystal sea, the cold literally shocking the sickness out of my system,’ she says.

‘You emerge from those waters with an icy clarity about your life, a pure, beautiful, brilliant adrenaline-fuelled thrill at the joy of being alive.’

Around 250,000 people in the UK are estimated to be affected by ME. However, diagnosis has been met with scepticism over the years, with controversy over whether symptoms are genuine or all in the mind.

It was dubbed yuppie flu because sufferers tend to be aged between 20 and 40 and the illness is most frequently seen among professionals.

Emily’s yuppie credentials are unimpeachable — she is the daughter of wealthy Lincolnshire landowner Sir Reginald Sheffield — but she may find her bargaining powers with David Cameron to be limited.

Two years ago she embarrassed him by posting a picture on Instagram of her younger sister Alice on her wedding day, which showed the PM in the background taking an afternoon snooze on the bride’s bed.

After the pic was ‘liked’ by thousands of users, Emily called herself an ‘idiot’ on Twitter, admitting she did not intend it to be seen by so many people.

12 thoughts on “Sam Cam’s sister stricken with M.E. for a year | Daily Mail | 27 June 2015”

  1. fantastic (and I mean that) that she’s now yuppy-off, but since most recover within 1-2 years anyway it coudl’ve likely been anything to trigger this, from gardening (been doing this and the slightly more energy which is keeping me awake now so it’s not even real energy but adrenaline is compensated by the brainfog worsening) to cold water to éven *brrrr* GET..

    next up we’ll be forced to ice-challenge every week

  2. ‘C.F.S.’ but cured, after 12 months, by an icy dip?
    More like a frightful bout of party-fever-hangover – rife among the gals in the county set, I believe.

  3. Just lodged a complaint with Mail Online requesting them to correct their inaccuracy with regard to what Shakespeare describes as ‘yuppie flu’ and his inaccurate definition of whom it may affect.

    When writing to the press, I liken using the term ‘yuppie flu’ to using the terms ‘mongol’ and ‘spastic’. (Please excuse me using these offensive terms. I would prefer not to have to.) I explain the term ”yuppie flu’ is just as outdated and can be equally offensive. Knowing the press, they’re probably more peeved by the first suggestion.

  4. Thank you Margot for lodging a very valid complaint and well put. I think we all would agree that ‘yuppie flu’ is extremely offensive.
    As for icy water many have shown that cold hands and feet i.e. poor circulation, evidenced from the recent MEA survey, is a common symptom. I have developed Raynaud’s and the last thing to do is dive into icy water. Even the slightest change in temperature can trigger symptoms.
    Black hands and feet. Blue arms feet and legs. I don’t need cold water to produce this effect. It’s just there.

  5. Who diagnosed her? She would have had to have it a lot longer than 6 months for it to be a firm diagnosis and it seems she only had it in total for a year. Most people don’t get diagosed for years and usually it’s become so bad the mere thought of trying to jump anywhere becomes an impossibility. Of course as Daddy has lots of cash she could have gone private but she would still need to fulfil some criteria she would not necessarily had in a year. I would love to see her letter confiming ME, how long ago was this diagnosis made?. I have a milder case than most and every time I wash my hair I rinse in cold water but I haven’t got my mojo back yet. Maybe I need to shower in cold water for it to work. Watch this space! As for her being a spokesperson. I’d rather not have her speak for me on anything I don’t know her and by association would not want to.

  6. Oh for God’s sake. If this sort of nonsense is what is fuelling her brother-in-law’s government’s onslaught against sick and disabled people, we’re even more stuffed than I thought we were.
    Enough to make you truly despair.

  7. I agree with the general theme of these comments, stories like this do more harm than good. They only encourage the thinking that ME is not real or a genuine illness. Good on you Margot, “yuppy Flu” is very offensive. It should never be used.

    One comment I thought a bit strange was from Sofi you said if I I understand and you didn’t misspell it “most people recover in 1 to 2 years anyway” Research has shown that only 6 to 10% of people with ME will make a full recovery and that is ONLY if they do so with in the first 3 years of developing the illness. This is one reason why I find this story so depressing. Emily is not a typical example of people with ME, and being the MPs sister in law as an example of how this will give him empathy for us!! I don’t think so, he of all people should u set stand something of disability, having lost his son, but that seems to have had little affect on his compassion for the sick and disabled. I’m so glad Enily has recovered I wish her well, but please don’t take her as an example of people with ME.

  8. Sounds like Emily was more likely to have suffered from post viral fatigue or similar(too much partying!) in which case recovery in one year is about right, no doubt helped by a holiday in Galway. She’s probably confused this with ME. It was a Daily Mail article , not noted for letting too much science get in the way of a good story! If only it was as simple as a plunge in the sea- I could have been cured 22 years ago on my holiday in Dunwich!

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