#MillionsMissing is a global protest held today, dedicated to the millions of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) patients missing from their careers, schools, social lives and families due to the debilitating symptoms of the disease. At the same time, millions of pounds are missing from the research and clinical education funding that ME should be receiving. And, millions of doctors are missing out from proper training to diagnose and help patients manage this illness. 

Here's a picture of my pointe shoes, which I'm hoping will tell a story just by themselves. A lot of you probably know my story now, I blogged a bit about it on ME Awareness Week earlier in the month, but I'll do a quick summery for those who don't know to go with my above #MillionsMissing photo. Before 2008, I was a very academically bright, sociable, sporty young girl + was in training to be a professional dancer. I spent up to 7 hours a day dancing as well as keeping on top of school work, sport clubs + socialising. September 2008 I became ill + everything snowballed unbelievably fast. I became wheelchair bound, started crawling around the house and then at my worst I was in hospital paralysed. I've spent most of my 8 years being severely affected, but I'm so lucky compared to some of my friends. ME has made me miss out on so much, from university to simple things like being able to walk to my local shop which I haven't done in 8 years. 

As I was discussing with one of my friends the other day, social media like Facebook is often a 'highlight reel' of our life, so you don't see me, or others, when we are poorly as it's not the kind of thing we want to share. This is why I think this idea of the shoes is an amazing campaign and I have no doubt it's going to grow year on year. There's so many poorly people stuck behind closed doors that people don't know about. It's time there was more awareness, understanding + funding to go in to supporting and diagnosing ME sufferers. 

Kate x


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