Action for ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)

Action for ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)
About 25,000 school-age children suffer from ME - or chronic fatigue syndrome - a debilitating disease which leaves them totally exhausted and can trigger muscle pain andflu-like symptoms.

It often arises after persistent viral infections which have weakened the immune system. More than one in two children on long-term sickness absence from school has the condition. Yet hundreds are disbelieved by doctors, teachers, and even members of their own family.

"ME is potentially a very serious illness that can become much worse if treated wrongly," said Jane Colby, children's officer for the charity Action for ME and a member of the Government working group on chronic fatigue syndrome.

"Children disabled by it should save their energy for healing. For many school may not be the best place, and they would benefit from home tuition. The system should be made to fit the child, not the child fit the system. Jane, who was forced by ME to quit her job as a primary school head, provides educational support for sufferers working with GPs and teachers. She also supplies information on the Young Action Online website, which offers a full support service by phone, post and email.

To coincide with ME Awareness Day tomorrow, Jane has published a book, Zoe's Win, which is based on case histories of children and gives tips on how to adapt your lifestyle and studies. Zoe's Win, 7.95 pounds, can be ordered, post free, from YAOnline, P0 Box 4347, Stock, Ingatestone, CM4 9Th or via the YAOnline website. Action For ME 24-hour hotline: 0891 122976.

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(c) 2000 The Mirror
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