Fundraising Feature: 1000-mile challenge for M.E. | 01 April 2019

April 1, 2019


Helen Hyland, Fundraising Manager, ME Association.

Lauren Ingham is one of team of fundraisers who has joined the Virtual Runner 1000-mile challenge for M.E. in 2019.

She loves cycling. It brings a sense of freedom that’s simply matchless. She enjoys cycling on her own or in a group and was hugely proud of herself when, in 2016, she managed to save enough funds to buy her own ‘proper’ road bike.

A thousand miles in a year is a minimal achievement to a competitive cyclist. Before M.E., Lauren would have thought nothing of cycling 50 miles in one day. In 2017 she managed over 240 miles when she cycled from London to Paris in just three days.

So, the Wiggle Vale Velo ride on Saturday 6th April should be a doddle for her, shouldn’t it? Even though it climbs over 1690ft through the route and includes one of Yorkshire’s steepest climbs. This early season cycle race takes riders through some of the best views of the Vale of York and the Yorkshire Wolds along the way.  It is billed as “a great early year ‘wake-up call’ for the legs” no less. And yes, two years ago, she managed it no problem.

But in 2018, music tutor Lauren came unstuck. Her illness and subsequent diagnosis with M.E. left her without the energy to walk, let alone cycle.  She felt so ill that she seriously considered giving up cycling and selling all her gear. She cancelled her entry to the race and took the year off from cycling.

This year, she’s back. But she’s not saying she’s better.

Lauren still has bad days – like last weekend where she was forced to sleep for 15.5 hours and then another 2.5 in the evening. She spent much of the next day – her birthday – on the sofa.

“I hope to raise a small amount of money to help this charity and the research they do and help the awareness of this illness be spread. I would not wish this illness on my worst enemy, and although my diagnosis was one that stemmed from an infectious illness, weakening my immune system, it still is going to impact me for a long time.”

She’s taking her training steady, but last month, she had already clocked up 155 miles, despite the wintry weather.

Although she’d dearly love to match her 2017 time, Lauren promises that she is not setting out to push herself. She says that just finishing will be achievement enough.

Her aim is to raise another £50 for this event – which equates to just £1 a mile – and she is hoping that the weather will be kind.

If you would like to follow Lauren’s adventures over the year, or indeed support her valiant efforts, please follow this link to her JustGiving fundraising page.

The ME Association

Together we can make 2019 the best ME Awareness Week ever!

We are a national charity working to make the UK a better place for people whose lives have been devastated by an often-misunderstood neurological disease.

ME Awareness Week (6th to 12th May 2019) is the most important part of our year. It’s when we all work our hardest to tell the world that M.E. is indeed both Real and Physical.

We recently announced our plans for this special week of activities and they included ideas for events and other ways in which people affected by M.E. can help raise awareness.

If you would like to help us to support this vulnerable community, then please donate to our Go Blue for ME campaign.

And, if you require any help or support with awareness ideas and with fundraising, please get in touch with Helen Hyland, ME Association Fundraising Manager.

ME Association Registered Charity Number 801279


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