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My experience as a young person without fibromyalgia.

As the communications officer for Fibromyalgia Action UK, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I know it all about fibromyalgia. The truth is I don’t know it all. I hadn’t even heard of the word before I joined the charity. For a while, I had trouble even pronouncing it, never mind knowing anything about it. Since then, I’ve began learning about the condition, as well as hearing personal experiences of it from those in the office and everyone on social media. Hearing how destructive and life changing it can be for sufferers, I now struggle to comprehend how very few people know about it. I now know just how devastating it can be. It’s something that I’m fortunate not to have, but I know it’s something which could impact me or my family at some point. And that’s why I want to make people aware of the condition – especially people who haven’t ever heard of it. But I ask myself, why didn’t I know what fibromyalgia was?

I’d heard of Lyme Disease, I’d heard of ME, I’d heard of Arthritis, But I’d never heard of fibromyalgia.

I’m 19 and when speaking to my friends, none of them have a clue what it is (just like I didn’t before joining FMAUK) – but it isn’t our fault as young people. In my personal opinion, there is near enough nothing that would make us aware unless we knew someone with, or had fibromyalgia ourselves.I also know that it is just good fortune that I do not have it as it can affect men, women, and children.We need to increase awareness of this cruel condition, and we need to make younger people aware. We’ve a long way to go, but by utilizing social media, we have the chance to do so and make people aware of this condition. To reach people who don’t know about fibro and make them aware of the condition, we have to reach beyond our social media pages.

(Reece Henderson)

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