If you didn’t already know, this week is Fibromyalgia Awareness Week. Unfortunately many people remain unaware of the illness fibromyalgia, as well as the effects that it can have upon both sufferers and their families. Symptoms can include muscle pain, fatigue, poor concentration, a compromised ability to carry out daily tasks and the condition can also be associated with tiredness and depression.
For those unaware that they have the illness, not knowing why they are exhibiting such symptoms may lead to stress – which can, in turn, have adverse effects on their general wellbeing. According to statistics approximately 2-4% of the population may have fibromyalgia without realising it. As the UK-based organisation Fibroaction reminds us:
“Without treatment, many people with Fibro end up disabled and unable to work or enjoy their life in the way they want. Raising awareness is therefore very important to a very large number of people.”
So what can you do to raise awareness of fibromyalgia?
Here are a few ideas:
Join a support group
Support groups can be found across the UK and you can find your nearest one by clicking here. If mobility is an issue for you, why not think about joining an online community. Here are a few to consider:
Raise awareness via social media
These days most of us have a twitter or facebook account, or even write a blog. FibroAction’s Thunderclap campaign encourages us to use these platforms to spread the word about fibromyalgia. FibroAction have created cover photos that you can download to promote awareness, as well as a related text that they encourage you to copy and post to your social media status. The goal is to: “gain 100 supporters over the next 10 days to make this tweet happen at 6.30PM on the 14th September 2014”. You can find out more and download cover photos by checking out their webpage here.
Do a sponsored event
- There is no end to the creativity with which you can approach the organisation of a sponsored event. Here are a few suggestions that might get you started:
- Pub quiz – ask your local landlord to organise a trivia night where an entry fee donation is taken on behalf of an FM charity
- Cake sale – approach your local community centre or mother & toddler group about organising a cake sale to raise funds
- Car boot and Ebay – What better way to both de-clutter and raise money for fibromyalgia awareness than getting rid of your unwanted belongings on ebay, or at a car boot sale. You could even encourage your family and friends to do the same!
Do check the UK Fibromyalgia website for some other great tips. Also remember to: “make sure that you have plenty of literature for your event so that people have something to take away to remember your message. (UK Fibromyalgia can provide back issues of Fibromyalgia magazine if you require them.)”.
Donations from your fundraising can be made directly to the Fibromyalgia Association UK via their JustGiving page. It’s also worth taking a look here to see some of the other great ideas that individuals have come up with to raise money for the cause. Recent examples include sponsored runs and participation in organised events such as the ice bucket challenge or Great London Swim. Here are three of our favourites:
- Charlotte Shaw raised £880 by doing a sponsored skydive
- David Oliver raised £461.50: “suffering the indignity of shaving my beard off for Fibromyalgia Association UK, because I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year”.
- Emma Collins raised £750 climbing Snowdon
It’s very inspirational to see the differing ways that groups and individuals have made a real difference in raising both funds and awareness of this important cause. Hopefully it will inspire you to do the same!
Are you doing anything for Fibromyalgia Awareness Week? Don’t forget to let us know!
We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.