A BROTHER is running three half marathons to raise money for charity Action for ME after his younger sister was diagnosed with the illness in 2010.
Max Sztyber, 22, of Whatlington Road, Battle, completed the Eastbourne Half Marathon last Sunday and will also run the Hastings Half on Sunday March 24 and the Richmond Half in London on Sunday March 31.
ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), affects around 250,000 people in the UK alone.
Max, who finished the 13.1 mile course in one hour 40 minutes, said: “I felt absolutely knackered when I crossed the finish line but it’s good to be able to do it for a reason.
“It’s nice that I can do something that might help other people with the same sort of condition as it’s something that’s definitely close to home.
“My family has been really helpful and supported me and I’ve had quite a few messages.
“It does help you that people are wishing you good luck and gives you a bit of a boost.”
Action for ME is the UK’s largest leading charity for people with ME and their carers and provides information and support to those who need it.
Symptoms of the condition include persistent exhaustion, muscle or joint pain, sleep disturbance, feeling flu-like and having problems with memory and concentration.
“You aren’t able to come to school because you are too tired and too ill,” said Max. “It has a massive effect.
“It’s difficult, especially at that age as she was about 14 of 15 when she was diagnosed.
“Social occasions or going to play sport is tough because they just don’t have the energy.”
A lack of knowledge and awareness surrounding ME means it can take years for patients to be diagnosed.
Max said: “There’s not even that much knowledge of ME amongst GPs.
“We went round all the GPs and some are really sceptical about it being an actual illness – there’s a lack of awareness.
“More than anything I want to raise awareness and that’s what I’m hoping with these runs – to achieve awareness as much as fundraising.”
Max, who is studying Media and Modern Literature at Goldsmiths University, South London, said: “Even if I only raised £200 it would be a great total to raise for Action for ME.”
To sponsor Max in his marathon efforts visit his just giving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/MSztyber/.