Looking at Kathryn Turner conducting her online Dancefit class, you wouldn’t think she had a care in the world! So why did 40 people turn up for her short Zoom class earlier this month which raised £1,060 for the ME Association?
“I wanted to do this because my mum has suffered with M.E. since 2012. On some days, the condition prevents her from being able to hold a conversation for more than 10 minutes without feeling exhausted”, said Kathryn, who works as a nanny in Brighton.
Her mother, Julie Turner, lives in the Buckinghamshire village of Oakley and Kathryn naturally worries about her.
“As an adult she had been fit and healthy working as a primary school teacher. Although she had mild glandular fever as a teenager, and a history of tonsilitis, looking back all she can put her ME/CFS down to is a stressful time at work. The illness steadily crept over her.
“Thankfully, she’s been a bit better lately and we’ve been able to talk for up to half an hour – it depends pretty much on what else she’s been doing in any particular week as Post-Exertional Malaise is still a key feature”.
Kathryn has been dancing since the age of five. She set out teaching it when she was 14 – so young, in fact, that the rules stated she needed a chaperone to accompany her to her classes in Oakley.
After training in professional dance and musical theatre in London, where she gained a first-class degree at the Urdang Academy, she moved to Brighton where she was in the cast of local pantomimes. Now, Joe Wicks-style, she runs her own online Dancefit classes.
For some years, Kathryn had been considering doing something to raise money for the MEA and was on the point of signing up for the London-Brighton 50-mile Walk when the pandemic intervened.
“ME affects so many people and we a have yet to find a cure. Supporting ME charities is so important in order to help fund research into the illness and raise awareness for those suffering this invisible illness,” she said.
“Dance is what I love and I was totally overwhelmed by the support I received.
“We did my mum proud, didn’t we?”
If people would like to contribute to Kathryn’s fundraiser, please visit HERE.