A Limavady man battling a crippling condition he says makes every day a struggle is hoping to raise awareness about what sufferers experience through a series of events this weekend.
David Moore was diagnosed with Rheumatic Fibromyalgia in 2008, a condition he knew almost nothing about.
“After 18 months, I started searching looking for answers, trying to make sense of this condition that was slowly but surely wearing me down. Excruciating pain, on days I was flaring, and the slightest touch could feel like agony,” said David, who said severe pain and exhaustion is part of daily life. “The simple things in life, most people take for granted, have become a daily struggle,” he said. “My days now mainly consist of me being in bed. On not so bad days, I have a small office at home which allows me to work on our charity and, if it gets too much, I can leave it and rest,” said David. “There is no cure for fibromyalgia. You don’t live, you basically exist.”
David formed a group Facebook page to support others. In 2013 he started a charity shop. Two years on, David said the shop has become a registered charity.
“The information out there about this illness is almost non existent, while the number of new people being diagnosed with it continues to increase. The frustration and stress people even have trying to get simple benefits because they can no longer work because of their fibromyalgia is way beyond belief,” said David.
Events to raise awareness and funds include a street collection in Limavady today. On May 9th, Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, there is an open day/information day in the group’s Catherine Street shop, alongside activities at Drumceatt Square, including a balloon release.
“Balloons can be bought at £2 each, they will have names of each person who has bought one attached, with the charity’s email address. Whoever finds a balloon with the attached label, by the end of May, the person’s balloon that has been recorded the furthest away from Limavady, will receive a small prize from the charity,” he said.
Balloons will be on sale on Saturday from the FMANI information table in Drumceatt Square. There is a craft/jumble sale in the Church of Ireland’s Hall on Main Street. Tables are £10 for crafters, £5 for jumble sale. Admission is 50p per person. Proceeds will “help us fund premises to create a Fibromyalgia Drop-In Centre,” added David.