Hope 4 ME & Fibro Northern Ireland began many years ago as a thought, by a patient who found herself bed-bound due to a mysterious illness.
She felt she was alone and there was no one who could help her, so she had a goal to get well and help other people like herself. That patient was Joan McParland, treasurer of Hope 4 ME & Fibro Northern Ireland.
When Joan met a few like-minded people things began to take shape. Today the “Hope” charity is stronger than ever with over 200 members, a dedicated committee, and a number of volunteers who all help to keep things going.
The group has hosted both patient and medical conferences, regularly bringing top doctors and researchers to Northern Ireland.
They also continue to fundraise for Bio-Medical research, liaise with all major ME/Fibromyalgia charities both in UK and Ireland, and highlight awareness at every opportunity.
They have been fundraising for the past four years and have so far raised over £17,500 for bio-medical research, and have held a number of events over the years.
A spokesperson for the group said: “We believe that the 7,000 approx. ME patients in Northern Ireland deserve the best treatments available and we continue to lobby local government to achieve this aim.”
Monthly meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month in the Mourne Country Hotel in Newry, beginning at 7pm. Following committee business, refreshments are served at 7.30pm and the guest speaker begins at 8pm.
The group can be contacted online at ww.hope4mefibroni.btck.co.uk, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook.