Mariyam Didi will be joining 4,000 cyclists in a seasonal spectacular this Sunday (11th September) – as they set off from Clapham Common in south London for the 54-mile London to Brighton Cycle Ride.
Mariyam (33), who for eight years has worked for a north London agency specialising in trips to the tourist paradises of the Indian Ocean, has picked the ME Association as her charity. She has already secured donations from a vast network of friends and colleagues amounting to almost £3,000.
Her 37-year-old partner Darren has M.E. and she tells visitors to her fundraising page: “Here comes the cheesy bit… my life is infinitely better for having Darren in it and I would like to do everything I can to make life living with ME/CFS better for him.”
Mariyam – “please call me Mie” – settled in the UK after leaving her homeland in The Maldives 18 years ago. She already does a fair bit of cycling in London and just last week cycled the 20 miles from her home in Croydon to the office in Queen’s Park as a warm-up for this weekend.
“Of course, cycling in London is like nothing riding round a tiny island in The Maldives. I had never really understood why London had cyclists sharing the same routes with buses but I’ve got the hang of it now”, she told us.
“It’s all about watching for the turning signals on the back of the buses and never being blind-sided by drivers who are turning left!”
One very useful trade-off from the horrible pandemic is hybrid working. Mie works one day a week at the office and the rest of the time from home.
Mie recently moved to be closer to Darren, who is taking some time away from work this year to focus on his health. She was living in Clapham, just a stone’s throw or two from the start of the London-Brighton event, but has now joined Darren in Croydon.
She says she picked the ME Association as her charity of choice because of our focus on paying for biomedical research. “Really, it’s all about the research side of it. I’m a bit of a science nerd and supporter and believe that the more research that’s done the closer we get to a cure”, she said.
Leaving The Maldives behind to find a new life in the UK – any regrets? “Oh, no! If I hadn’t done that I would never have found Darren. He’s everything to me.”
Enjoy the cycle ride on Sunday, Mie. We hope you have a fair wind behind you.
If you would like to donate to Mie’s fundraiser, please visit:
For people with ME/CFS who are thinking about taking on a physical fundraising challenge, or if you are organising an event that might involve people with ME/CFS, please read this notice from Neil Riley, Chairman of the ME Association.