I am going BACK TO SCHOOL with my son to raise awareness for young people with ME/CFS who have missed out on their youth.
I lost years of my youth due to chronic illness. My story was published on Linkedin in July. You can read it here (copy & paste into your browser): https://lnkd.in/eXx4pqa
I have created this event to raise awareness of ME/CFS. I am grateful to be one of the lucky ones as I have been recovered for more than 20 years and I am disappointed that this illness is still so misunderstood, yet has significant and often long term impact on sufferers and their families. While I lost an important chunk of my life, I have had a rewarding career, completed a Master’s degree, travelled and have two amazing boys. Many sufferers lose all of these opportunities.
I am going BACK TO SCHOOL on 28 November with my son who suffers from different challenges to raise funds to support ME/CFS sufferers in the Auckland region. I am challenging 9 other leaders to join me in a charity fundraiser event with 10 young people suffering from ME/CFS or other disabilities that affect their lives.
I believe that leaders have an important responsibility to create a business world where difference of any kind is embraced as a normal and valuable part of society. We owe anyone with a chronic illness the opportunity to participate in society for as long and fully as they can. No-one should experience social isolation.
While I missed some of my important school years, I would like to encourage everyone to follow their dreams. No matter what challenges you experience in life, it is never too late to follow your dreams and go back to school or get an education.
With thanks to Manukau Institute of Technology, Faculty of Consumer Services for hosting the event. Fantastic organisations like MIT can help you get your dream career.
What is ME/CFS?
ME/CFS is a chronic illness causing incapacitating fatigue. It's often triggered by a viral infection (though there are a number of other causes). There is no known cure.
ME/CFS can strike anyone and deprives everyday New Zealanders of the things that are important to them - the ability to raise a family, study, relationships, travel, pursue a career, and be independent. The illness affects all facets of their lives. Research in New Zealand shows that ME/CFS affects people's lives as severely as Parkinson's disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Auckland has the largest number of ME/CFS sufferers of any city in New Zealand - estimated at over 6,000 in total.
While the illness is often associated with high achieving personality types, it can impact people from every culture, religion, economic status and education level. It has been referred to as “the last major disease we know nothing about”.
Michelle Teirney is CFO and Director of Corporate Services for Manukau Institute of Technology.
I am the event organiser for the Courageous Deeds Back to School charity fundraiser.
I'm challenging 10 leaders to go BACK TO SCHOOL to raise awareness for sufferers of ME/CFS who have missed out on their schooling.