Dad and his daughter to kayak across the country to raise awareness of ME

Dad and his daughter to kayak across the country to raise awareness of ME

by Henry James (July 2022)

A FATHER and daughter from Up Holland are nearing the end of an epic kayaking adventure, paddling 162 miles across the country.

Terry Smith and Poppy, 8, are raising awareness of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a condition Terry’s wife, Aimee, suffers from.

The pair started their trip in June 2021 to raise funds towards CFS research (also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - ME)) and have split the journey into sections. To date they have done 17 sessions.

Unfortunately, Aimee’s condition means she is unable to join Terry and Poppy who are following the Desmond Family Canoe Trail spanning from the west to east coasts of the UK in an inflatable kayak. More on page 3

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The mission takes them the full length of the Leeds Liverpool Canal then onto the River Aire, and Calder Navigation before ending their journey in Goole in Yorkshire.

They have now completed 108 miles of the trip and now have under 54 to go. So far, they have raised more than £2,500 for ME Research UK.

Aimee said: “CFS affects every part of my life and is highly debilitating.

“Being disabled in this way, I am primarily housebound and unable to do many basic activities.

“Becoming ill devastated our family life and continues to hugely impact Terry and Poppy who are now a carer and young carer for me. They sacrifice a lot, adapting and supporting to help reduce my fatigue and pain enabling me to have a better quality of life.”

ME/CFS is a long-term (chronic), fluctuating, neurological condition that causes symptoms affecting many body systems. People with ME/CFS experience debilitating fatigue, widespread pain, neurological issues, hypersensitivity to light and sound, and many other symptoms.

Aimee added: “Post-Exertional Malaise (PEM) is a key feature of the disease, the body and brain’s inability to recover after expending even small amounts of energy.

“Often ME/CFS can be triggered by a viral infection, so with the inevitable dramatic increase triggered by Covid and Long Covid it is even more important to invest in medical treatment to tackle this devastating disease.”

For more information on the fundraiser visit the website

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