Here’s a belated appeal from someone local and a good friend of the blog who’s achieved a remarkable feat of endurance – Walsall Wildlife whizz and Greenspaces Ranger Morgan Bowers has walked the entire Glen Way – 79 miles – for Sarcoidosis charity SILA.
It’s all the more remarkable because Morgan suffers from this debilitating condition herself.
You can read up about Morgan’s hike and her progress as she walked it here on her blog. I congratulate her for a remarkable achievement and hope the blisters are easing now!
You can pop along to Morgan’s Just Giving page and donate – please do. It’s quick, easy and secure.
My name is Morgan and in 2009 I got ill. Pretty darned ill. It took two years of pain and exhaustion before I finally got a diagnosis, which was of Sarcoidosis. Sarcoi-WHAT? I hear you say… That’s what I said too.
(You actually might of heard of it if you watched House MD, as along with Lupus, it was often mentioned but only once the correct diagnosis!)
It’s pretty rare. Estimates that 12 people in 10,000 get it, so as you can imagine, not an awful lot is known about it’s causes, or treatments. There is no cure.
In a nutshell, Sarcoid is an autoimmune disease which results in the body producing granulomas – tiny lumps of cells which excrete inflammatory enzymes. This almost always leads to pain and debilitating fatigue, and sometimes to organ scarring and failure. (American stand-up comic Bernie Mac and The Green Mile actor Michael Clarke Duncan both died from sarcoidosis complications.) It can happen in any organ (but almost always in at least the lungs) including heart, brain, skin, eyes, liver…. you get the idea.
My sarcoid is (so far) in my eyes, lungs, skin and lymphatic system. And I’m one of the lucky ones, because mine is under control. I take anti-malarial medication, steroid inhalers and eye drops, and pain killers, and thanks to some awesome doctors, and supporting friends and family, live a pretty normal life.
But I have friends who are not doing so well. Quality of life for people with advanced sarcoid is really a struggle, and the medications (usually steroids) can have some rough side effects.
We need research into treatments.
So this October I’m walking (with Paul, my hubby) The Great Glen Way – 79 miles – to raise money for the Sarcoidosis charity SILA. It’s going to be tough – 79 miles is tough for ‘normal’ people, let alone ‘sarkies’ (as we call ourselves), so I’m allowing 8 days to do the hike, which goes from Fort William to Inverness, and which will start on the 4th October. We’re carrying all our food and shelter, and camping along the way.