Taking the fight over '˜invisible disease' to Parliament
A woman is taking her fight to get an invisible disease recognised as a disability in UK law to Parliament.
Alison Morton, chairman of the Longbenton-based Newcastle Fibromyalgia Support group, will join a team of people going to speak to MPs in January about the need for funding and research into the condition.
Under the Equality Act, the illness is currently deemed as an impairment rather than a disability.
Sisters Adrienne and Leeann Larkin from Chesterfield, started a petition on change.org earlier this year to get MPs to discuss fibromyalgia in Parliament.
To date, the petition has more than 73,000 signatures, and needs 100,000 for it to be discussed.
Alison, 29, said: “We are going to speak to MPs about the desperate need for more funding, research, recognition, support and education with regards to fibromyalgia.
“It’s something that millions across the UK live with, and yet, there’s not adequate support for people living with this chronic illness.
“This life-changing, invisible illness affects, men, women and children across the world.”
Alison has recently conducted an online survey looking at what it is like to live with fibromyalgia and has had more than 500 responses from across the country.
“The results are heart-breaking,” she said.
“People across the UK are committing suicide, having suicidal thoughts and experiencing serious mental health crises because of the impact fibromyalgia has on their lives.
“We need the help and we need it now. These are the people I’m standing up for, the voices that are unheard, or laughed out of doctor’s offices.
“This is why I work so hard for the people in my support group, this is why I’m so passionate about awareness of fibromyalgia and this is why I feel it’s so important to speak to MPs about it.
“People are dying, due to lack of research, funding, knowledge, and often a lack of belief from their doctors, family, friends etc. We may be living with invisible illnesses, but we are visible.”