A woman, who developed fibromyalgia after a car accident, will complete two treks totally nearly 150km to raise awareness of the condition.
Sallyann Richardson of Horley will walk 44km from Brighton to London with her best friend Kate Allingham in May to raise money for Fibromyalgia Action UK (FMA UK).
In August she will take on a 100km challenge to raise funds for FMA UK and two other charities.
Her story began 14 years ago when she was involved in a car accident while cycling.
The 39-year-old said: “I suffered back and knee injuries needing three knee ops which over time I got over but learned to live with.
“I just kept telling myself despite the pain everyday their were people in a worst position than me. Little did I know but my brain in the meantime hadn’t got over the shock of the accident.”
She would be in pain all day and night, be exhausted and suffered depression as well.
She said: “I would get tired and very depressed and people, friends couldn’t understand why I was so low. They kept telling me I was mad, losing my mind, I looked fine, there was nothing wrong with me.”
She persisted in getting treatment and was first diagnosed with a condition called myofacial pain syndrome, but the overwhelming events resulted in her depression worsening until she found herself unable to keep contact with friends and family.
When she was finally referred to a pain management clinic she discovered her condition had deteriorated into fibromyalgia, a neurological condition which changes in the way the nervous system processes pain messages around the body.
The cause is often unknown, but medics have found it seems to be triggered by an physically or emotionally stressful event, such as the death of a loved one or an operation.
After her 12 year battle perfecting medication and coming to terms with this complex condition, Sallyann is determined to make sure others don’t experience the same.
She said: “It’s important that this condition gets more recognition than it does, so others don’t have to spend years giving up.
“I still get major fatigue and I’m in pain 24/7 and short term memory loss and confusion occasionally, but I work still and want to do these walks for charity whilst I’m still able to as I know I wont always be able to do these things.
She added: “If just one person is inspired to get out of bed as a result of what I’ve done then that makes me happy.”
Anyone who wants to support Sallyann can do so at www.justgiving.com/Sallyann-richardson2016