A long cross-country walk dedicated to his mum and to the ME Association

August 6, 2020

by Tony Britton, Fundraising and PR Manager, ME Association

Steve Dawson will be taking time out from a crazy year to explore some of the best scenery this country has to offer by walking across the north of England this month.

Steve Dawson

Steve will be drinking in the beauty of all 182 miles of Wainwright’s Coast-to-Coast Walk while raising money for the ME Association.

He’s chosen us because he’s angry that there is so little available to help his mum Angela recover after losing the last five years of her life to M.E.

Steve, who turns 28 this month, saw the coronavirus wipe out his new business as an events manager in Brighton.

So he has upped sticks from the south coast town and moved in temporarily with his parents in Colchester.

“My mother’s suffered from chronic M.E. for the last few years, leaving her pretty much housebound. Currently there is no known cure, and so limited help is gained from the health service as there just isn’t enough known about it. Something’s got to change!”

On Saturday (8 August – Severe M.E. Day), he will set off to begin his walk which will take him through the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors.

Alfred Wainwright

Alfred Wainwright lent his name to the walk. The municipal treasurer and author of many gold standard Lake District guidebooks died aged 84 in 1991.

He recommended that to do it justice walkers should begin by dipping their booted feet into the Irish Sea at St Bee’s and finish by having a paddle in the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay.

It’s an unofficial route. It has no markers to show the way. It’s easy to go off piste, as they say on French ski slopes. Or, as Steve puts it on his fundraising page in good old Anglo-Saxon: “It’s a lot of friggin’ maps!”

Steve’s father – another Steve – told us: “It could take him a fortnight, a month, or two months. He might meet a farmer on the way, who could offer him work. He’ll take his time, enjoy the break and we really don’t know when he will be back.”

Steve Snr. said M.E. has changed his wife from “being called Tigger because she was always so full of life” to someone who now has to count every ounce of energy used in case it runs out and leaves her floored for days.

At one stage in their marriage, Angie was able to hold down four jobs to help pay the bills.

He said the M.E. came on five years ago after a combination of three things plagued his wife’s health  – frequent sinusitis, kidney infection and kidney stones.

“There’s no support available. She’s been to the local M.E. clinic but they couldn’t help. She knows all about pacing but you know how it is: she’s feel a little better one day and wants to do more than she should.”

Nowadays Angie will use a wheelchair to make it easier to get about.

The ME Association is very grateful to Steve Jnr. for inviting supporters to sponsor his walk and raise money for us in the process. If you’re looking for his fundraising page, you can’t miss it.

At the top is a lovely cartoon of Steve by his mate, Adam Carter, who is on Instagram at halfdrawnhoopoe. If you would like to donate to Steve's challenge, please visit his JustGiving page.

The ME Association

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