Gordon Jackson will be walking 500 miles across Scotland this summer to raise awareness of M.E. and much-needed funds for the Association.
The software engineer from Ayr has seen first-hand the suffering that M.E. can bring in its wake – his wife Catriona has had the illness for five years and, since then, her health has declined year after year.
“Watching my wife suffering with ME day after day, week after week, year after year is just the hardest thing,“said 50-year-old Gordon.
“When she first became ill back in 2016, we kept ourselves going by saying, when you get better, we'll have a big holiday, and do all the things we planned on doing but never got around to.
“But now there's no point in making plans – as we know it will be a long time before Catriona will be well enough to go on holiday. In the last couple of years even day trips out have become impossible. Six months ago, Catriona could enjoy an occasional trip out for lunch, although she would usually suffer for it afterwards, now even something as simple as that seems impossible.”
Catriona (43) had to give up work in customer service with the John Lewis Partnership in October 2016 when her symptoms included extreme physical weakness, brain fog, memory loss, light, noise and temperature sensitivity, persistent chronic fatigue and muscle pain.
Recently, she had a significant relapse in her health which left her bedbound for a month and then housebound for the last three months.
Gordon will start his walk on 28th May at the Mull of Galloway, the southernmost tip of Scotland, and eventually end up at the lighthouse just north of John O’Groats.
Because he is the main carer for his wife, he won’t walk it all at once but in stages. And the stages will take him along the Loch Ryan Coastal Path, the Ayrshire Coastal Path, the Clyde Coastal Path, the West Highland Way, and the Great Glen Way.
“I have heard it said that because there is not a specific test for ME, it must be psychosomatic. I challenge anyone who thinks that to live with a sufferer for one week, and they will see all the evidence they need that this illness is not ‘all in the mind',” he added.
To support Gordon’s fundraiser, please visit JustGiving