Karen Buckley has challenged herself to climb the Yorkshire Three Peaks at the end of May to raise money for the ME Association – because she’s been appalled at how badly M.E. has affected her younger sister Julie Braithwaite.
“Julie always used to be so fit and healthy. But now she often has to rely on mobility aids and regularly spends days in bed because the smallest exertion can leave her mentally and physically exhausted”, said Karen, from Buntingford in Hertfordshire.
Julie (48) was finally diagnosed with ME/CFS in 2018 after having suffered the symptoms for 18 months before that.
She is a classroom teaching assistant who loves her job. Fortunately, since her diagnosis, her school have been incredibly supportive and let her reduce her working hours from full-time to two afternoons a week.
Big sister Karen aims to complete the challenge within the required 12 hours. But the brooding heights of Pen y Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough are certainly not for the faint-hearted and will test her fitness.
It’s a lot to ask of anyone to walk a total of 25 miles and climb a combined height of 7,063ft – all within half a day.
“But I’m in my early fifties and have always enjoyed the outdoor life – walking, hiking, cycling. I'm determined to complete it”, said Karen. “Raising money to support ME research is so important and it’s down to us, families and friends, to do this because the Government doesn’t seem interested in finding out the answers. I’d ask all my friends to remember we’re doing it because of Julie.”
Donations can be made here