Chesterfield woman's fibromyalgia petition sparks Westminster debate

MPs will discuss fibromyalgia during a debate in Westminster after a Chesterfield woman started a petition about the devastating illness.

Adrienne Lakin's online petition - which urges the Government to recognise fibromyalgia as a disability and also calls for better treatment and support for sufferers - has been signed by more than 110,000 people.

Adrienne Lakin. Picture by Anne Shelley.

Adrienne Lakin. Picture by Anne Shelley.

Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition which causes pain all over the body and a number of other issues including fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome and problems with memory and concentration.

Under the Equality Act, the illness is deemed as an impairment rather than a disability.

Twenty-six-year-old Adrienne - whose petition is backed by Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins - has suffered with the symptoms of fibromyalgia since she was 16.

She said: "I'd like to thank everyone who has signed and supported the petition and I'm so pleased that the issue of fibromyalgia will be discussed in Westminster.

"Whatever the outcome is, it will really help to raise awareness about this horrible condition."

Describing how fibromyalgia affects her, Adrienne, of Hall View, Newbold, said: "I’m always hurting - I'm on more than 30 tablets a day.

"It's completely changed my life.

"I always used to be out socialising but I can't do that anymore.

"I absolutely hate fibromyalgia."

Mr Perkins said: "I’ve been working closely with Adrienne and I've been successful in securing next Tuesday's debate about fibromyalgia in Westminster on the back of her petition.

"Fibromyalgia is a horrible hidden illness which affects many people in my constituency.

"In its response we hope the Government will say what it will do to increase awareness about fibromyalgia and how it will help sufferers – including when they come to claim benefits."

To sign Adrienne's petition, visit http://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-make-fibromyalgia-a-disability