Derry solicitor, Michael McDaid, is running in the ‘Walled City Marathon’ next month to raise money for ME Support Northern Ireland and to help raise awareness for ME sufferers here.
Michael’s older brother, Paul, was diagnosed with the illness two years ago.
“Like many other people I had no idea what ME was until our Paul was diagnosed with it.
“Paul has been severely affected by ME and anyone who has a loved one with ME will know how powerless you, as a relative can feel.
“There was very little I could do to help Paul so I set out to take part in the ‘Walled City Marathon’ to raise money and awareness.”
Michael set up a webpage in order for people to make donations and his initial target was £500.
Since setting up the page he has managed to raise four times that amount and at the time of going to print yesterday evening he had raised £2,177.57.
“I just want to thank everyone who has donated - it really does mean a lot.
“I have three brothers including Paul and we are all very close.
“It’s awful seeing someone you care about go through such a horrible illness.
“Paul is a qualified optician and when he started to feel ill he had also returned to university where he was studying for a Phd. in Physics.
“He was working as an optician at the weekends and studying during the rest of the week.
“When he was diagnosed with ME, he wasn’t able to do any of this.
“He had to give up work and walk away from his Phd.”
Michael went on to say that he hopes to see his big brother recover from the illness someday soon.
“It’s been very tough on him.
“I just hope for the day when he will start to feel better and able to get on with the rest of his life,” said Michael.
Some medical professionals, including doctors, refuse to acknowledge ME as medical condition which makes accessing help and support virtually impossible for some people.
After witnessing first hand what his brother Paul was going through, Michael decided he wanted to set the record straight and help wider society understand ME better.
Michael, who has completed over 400 miles worth of training since February, will take part in his first marathon when he competes in the ‘Walled City Marathon’ on June 1.
“ME is as real an illness as any other condition. My brother was active, hard working and extremely well read and then this hit him - no one wants to feel the way someone with ME does and the sooner we eradicate this sort of opinion the better.”
To donate to Michael’s cause, log on to www.runmicky.com