Five years after going down with M.E., Sophie’s on top of the world (well, England’s highest peak) | 13 April 2017

April 13, 2017

Sophie 2

A teenager from Wetherby in West Yorkshire climbed England's highest mountain this week – a few years after chronic illness meant she couldn’t walk her dog to the end of the road without feeling exhausted.

Sophie Atkinson and three friends from Harrogate College scaled Scafell Pike to raise money for the ME Association.

The 19-year-old was diagnosed with ME after suffering from glandular fever five years ago.

With friends Sarah Murphy, Lauryn Brogatzki and Rheanna Ainsley, they reached the top.

“I did it!!! We climbed Scafell Pike! I can't quite believe it!”, said an exultant Sophie afterwards.

“It was very cold and extremely tiring but I had best day and really did enjoy myself. Me and my friends had such a laugh and have made such an amazing memory.”

Sophie’s illness meant that she missed a lot of school, forcing her to drop some of her GCSEs. She is now taking an extra A-level, after taking two last year, and hopes to start university in September and train as a midwife.

Before she went, she told our press officer Sarah Staples:

“In the early days of my illness, I remember walking the dog to the end of the road and thinking: “I can’t do this.” I was wiped out, I had to go home.”

With ME, it’s not just the extreme tiredness – there were night sweats, brain fog – where you just can’t concentrate – and muscle aches.

“As a teenager, probably the hardest thing was that my friends would be out, being normal teenagers, and I’d be at home, seeing what they were doing on social media. That was really tough.”

If you would like to support Sophie's fabulous effort, please visit her fundraising page at

Summit - sophie Atkinson

1 thought on “Five years after going down with M.E., Sophie’s on top of the world (well, England’s highest peak) | 13 April 2017”

  1. You want to wish her well, but exercise is so dangerous to people with ME/CFS that anything which creates the impression that having a goal such as this is a good idea is potentially extremely worrying.

    It concerns me that this is like those stories about the wonderful people who have lost 5 Stone and are a new person, congratulations, hurrah etc. Almost invariably people who lose a lot of weight end up within a few months or year weighing more, or much more, than they did before they started slimming. But by that time they aren’t in the news any more.

    I hope that this young woman does not have a delayed and long-term relapse…and wonder if we would ever hear about it if she did…let’s have a report on her health in two years’ time.

    Seriously….and I would be glad to be wrong in feeling pessimistic about this…

    But praising exertion to an audience of people with ME/CFS is pretty irresponsible.

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