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Support group set up by trio with debilitating illnesses

Monday 5 November 2012


From the UK's This Is Gloucester:


Alice Devaney, Trish Blain,
Group effort: Alice Devaney, Trish Blain,
Sue Davies and Julie Lowe

Support group set up by trio with debilitating illnesses

By Karen Cripps
31 October 2012

COLLECTIVE help is being offered for the first time in Tewkesbury to people suffering from the debilitating effects of three linked conditions.

A support group is being set up for people living with either Fibromyalgia, Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and their family and friends.

Fibromyalgia leads to a heightened and painful response to pressure, while ME and CFS cause severe fatigue following mental or physical activity.

Now four women who suffer from the conditions have joined together to form a support group for Tewkesbury and the surrounding area. Trish Blain, Julie Lowe, Alice Devaney and Sue Davies are inviting sufferers to get together at the group's first meeting.

It will take place from noon to 2pm on November 7 at The Royal Hop Pole, Church Street.

Trish said: "Fibromyalgia, ME and CFS are linked. There are crossover points between them which is why we decided we're going to support people who have any of the three."

The 51-year-old has suffered from Fibromyalgia for the last seven years so badly that she has not been able to work.

She said: "There are not necessarily any visual signs of the illness but you feel physically sore and are in constant pain."

Trish and Julie live in Cheltenham but Alice lives in Tewkesbury and Sue lives in nearby Strensham and it is the Tewkesbury area they will cover with the group.

They have already been walking around the town, dropping off details of the group with businesses in a bid to spread the word.

Trish believes there is a huge number of sufferers who need the group's help, saying: "Probably one in ten people will suffer from one or other of these conditions in their lives.

"We're trying to help raise awareness of the conditions and also get better help in the future for those suffering from them."

Through the national charity for Fibromyalgia, FMA UK, the support group has set up a helpline - 0844 887 2593.

Trish, who plans to set up a website, said people could ring her on 01242 516230 or email


The above, with comments, originally appeared here.




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