Petition for illness to be recognised as disability
A Chesterfield woman who suffers from a crippling illness is campaigning to see it recognised as a disability in UK law.
Twenty-four year-old Adrienne Lakin, her three sisters and her mother all suffer from fibromyalgia - a condition which causes chronic pain, fatigue and memory loss.
But, under the Equality Act, the illness is deemed as an impairment rather than a disability.
In an attempt to secure more support and better funding for herself and fellow sufferers Adrienne has started a petition to Parliament which has attracted 18,829 in just over a month.
She said: “We really need to get fibromyalgia recognised as a disability.
“If things changed we would like to see more specialist care centres opened - more than 600 people suffer with fibro in Chesterfield alone but there are only two in the whole country.
“We need a lot more funding for research and support.”
Adrienne, of Trinity Close, Newbold, has suffered with the symptoms of the disease since she was 16 but was fortunate that her GP has already diagnosed her older sister, Leeann, 29, who had been feeling its effects since the age of 17.
Adrienne underwent a series of tests to identify the condition, including nerve conduction and MRI scans.
She said: “I used to go running but I can’t do that anymore - I have to walk around with a walking stick.
“It’s taken a lot away from me. I can’t go out with my friends like I want to.
“It causes anxiety and depression, irritable bowel syndrome and arthritis - pain all over your body.
“The pain is like being stabbed on the inside and punched and kicked on the outside - every movement hurts.
“But it’s worse for my sister, Leeann, in many ways. Her youngest daughter is just three years old but she can’t run around and play with her anymore.”
If you suffer from or care for someone with fibromyalgia there is a support group which can provide help.
For more information visit www.facebook.com/Chesterfieldfibromyalgia.
To find out more about Adrienne’s petition visit www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-make-fibromyalgia-a-disability.