ME support group closes

PUBLISHED: 10:57 23 July 2007 | UPDATED: 11:18 24 May 2010

AN ME sufferer is calling for a support group to be set up in the Cheddar area as sufferers currently have to travel as far as Yeovil and Frome to reach the nearest ones. A self-help group in Highbridge, which catered for 25 people living as far afield as

AN ME sufferer is calling for a support group to be set up in the Cheddar area as sufferers currently have to travel as far as Yeovil and Frome to reach the nearest ones.A self-help group in Highbridge, which catered for 25 people living as far afield as Axbridge and Bridgwater, has closed, now leaving sufferers with a 30 mile drive to reach one.Sian Jones, aged 38, of Cuthbert Street, Highbridge, ran the Sedgemoor support group for nearly four years.But due to her worsening ME symptoms she is moving to Wales and has to close the group.She said: "The support groups are very valuable to people, especially people who are newly diagnosed and haven't met anyone else with ME. You find out everyone else has got similar problems. "It helps because different people find different ways of coping and you can share ideas with each other. We also had health professionals who came to talk to us and give us advice."Most people aren't able to travel very far and they need a local group so they have more chance of being able to get there. A lot of people who attend the meetings are too ill to lead one so there aren't many groups around."Sian, who was struck down with ME at school in 1985, was not diagnosed with the condition until 1997.But after all her hard work, Sian is still struggling to cope with the fumes in Highbridge and is upping sticks to live in Wales.She said: "I don't think people are aware how serious ME can be. Some people are bed bound. You can improve but very few people completely recover. I can't play sports and I don't drive. I'm not able to socialise much because once I've been to work that's about all I can do in a day."Sian believes the support groups offer a lifeline for sufferers and she is hoping someone will set up a new group in Sedgemoor for the people she has left behind.

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