By Sarah Staples, Press Officer, ME Association.
I’m lucky enough to interview some of the ME Association’s fundraisers. Last week I caught up with Aymsley Edwards who in July, raised more than £2,500 for the ME Association with an extreme triathlon challenge in Tenby, Wales (read all about it in the next edition of ME Essential magazine).
And, of course, the reason he was doing it in the first place – his wife, Jane, was diagnosed with M.E. shortly after their marriage eight years ago.
But what struck me was something else. Aymsley, 39, works for global financiers Morgan Stanley.
His colleagues are based around the world – many he has never met. Most did not know about Jane, her illness, how hard it is for her – and him.
And why would they? How could they? In a professional workplace, where does that conversation even begin? Especially in our tech-based world if you’re not in the sort of working environment where you meet and have a catch up at the coffee machine.
For Aymsley, it started with an email to his colleagues about his fundraising. He tapped at his keyboard, writing about his challenge and that he was dedicating it to his wife, Jane, before adding that she has M.E. and explaining a little of what that was like for her and their family.
And then he hit: ‘SEND’.
The response, he says, has been very heart warming and quietly liberating. He had emails from around the world. Kind words, wishing him well with his challenge, sending support and understanding to both him and Jane.
Ultimately, what it did was to let the people he works with understand him a little bit better. As he said: “It gave me the opportunity to share my personal life and what was happening.”
As I put the ‘phone down after the interview, one thing was clear: Aymsley’s challenge was unimaginably tough. But talking about Jane's M.E. and sharing that part of his life in the workplace?
That was probably harder.
Morgan Stanley very kindly matched everything Aymsley raised, bringing his total to just over £2,500.
Find out more about Aymsley's triathlon challenge on his JustGiving page.
Fancy raising funds yourself?
If you are interested in raising funds for the ME Association, then why not give Helen Hyland, our fundraising manager, a call on: 01280 838964, or email: Helen.Hyland@meassociation.org.uk. You might also like to visit the fundraising section of our website.
Please help us to continue our work
Please donate – whatever you can afford – to help us make the UK a better place for people with M.E. Just click the button below to visit our JustGiving page:
Or why not join the ME Association as a member and become a part of our growing community? Your subscription will not only be helping to keep us doing what we do best, but will receive our exclusive ME Essential magazine.