For Fibromyalgia Well Spring Foundation founder Cheryl Young, an awareness walk and fundraiser this past Saturday was a walk in the park compared to what lies ahead of her in a yearâ€™s time.
Last weekendâ€™s â€œFree Us From Fibroâ€ walk offered a 1.2-km route through Langley City at 1 p.m., plus a new, five-km journey out to the airport and back.
Young, with a pedometer attached to her track pants, did both walks and took more than 15,000 steps in the process.
All of the money raised from the May 9 walks will go to creating support and awareness for people suffering from fibromyalgia and other invisible diseases, such as Lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), diabetes, depression, and chronic fatigue noted Young, who has had fibromyalgia since 1992 and also suffers from chronic fatigue and asthma.
The walk was an ideal training exercise for those preparing for the â€œJust One More Stepâ€ journey from Langley to Banff, Alta., with the first steps being taken early in the morning on May 24, 2016 from the fibromyalgia thrift store at 20631 Fraser Hwy.
From there, the team of walkers, led by Young, plan to embark on a 40 day, 1,050-km journey through Aldergrove, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope, Princeton, Hedley, Keremeos, Penticton, Summerland, Peachland, West Kelowna, Wilfield, Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby, Sicamous, Malakwa, Craigellachie, Three Valley Gap, Revelstoke, Golden, Field, and, finally, Banff.
The purpose of the 2016 walk is to â€œshake it upâ€ and get those who donâ€™t know about fibromyalgia and other invisible illnesses to sit up and take notice.
Youngâ€™s husband Nigel Thom plans to drive a support vehicle behind the walkers, the entire way.
Both Saturdayâ€™s fundraiser and the big walk next May and June is about supporting what Young describes as â€œa phenomenal Canadian foundation.â€
â€œWeâ€™re all about helping people,â€ said Young, who, because of her work for the foundation, was recently nominated for the Eric Flowerdew Volunteer Award and in the Community Champion category of the nationally recognized YWCA Women of Distinction Awards. â€œWeâ€™re here for the people.â€
What is fibromyalgia?
According to the foundation, fibromyalgia, or FM, is a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain and allodynia, a heightened and painful response to pressure.
Derived from new Latin, fibro-, meaning â€œfibrous tissuesâ€, Greek myo-, â€œmuscleâ€, and Greek algos-, â€œpainâ€; the term literally means â€œmuscle and connective tissue pain.â€ Other symptoms include debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbance, and joint stiffness.
Some patients also report difficulty with swallowing, bowel and bladder abnormalities, numbness and tingling, and cognitive dysfunction.
Visit the foundationâ€™s website by clicking here.