Strong support from family and friends is essential to people with a debilitating and poorly understood illness like ME/CFS. As patients work to integrate the challenges of ME/CFS into their daily lives, loved ones can often feel powerless to help them.
Proactive help for a person with ME/CFS requires education, communication and emotional support. Family members and friends can also show they care by helping in tangible ways, like running errands, balancing the checkbook or cooking dinner. But many want to do more—to go the extra mile and fundraise in support or in memory of a loved one battling ME/CFS.
Kaycee Mackley has decided to do just that; not just the extra mile, but nearly 25 miles to honor her mother whose hard-fought battle with ME/CFS ended earlier this year. “I watched this illness slowly take my mother’s life, which ended Feb. 22, 2015 after suffering for over 20 years,” says Kaycee. “Since her death, I have struggled to find a way to honor her life.”
Prior to becoming ill, Kaycee’s mother Chardale (Dotson) Irvine was active and athletic. She played basketball in college, then played basketball and volleyball on the local recreational league. She was also active in other’s lives – always compassionate, with loving advice to share and a great listening ear for others’ life struggles, despite her own.
“She encouraged me to be the best I could be, even when I didn’t know what the best me looked like,” says Kaycee. “By going through the grief of losing her I have discovered a path to the best me. A positive way to build myself back up, by being as active as she was and giving back.”
Over the next six months, Kaycee will be participating in four races to advocate for funding and raise awareness for ME/CFS:
5k-Kooky-Spooky, Oct 25th in Golden, CO
5k-Turkey Trot, Nov 26 in Louisville, CO
10k-Christmas Carol Classic, Dec 19 in Denver, CO
15mile-Chilly Cheeks Duathlon, Feb 20 in Denver, CO
The last race on Feb. 20 was chosen because it is so near to the one-year anniversary of her mother’s death. Her goal is to raise at least $2,000 to benefit the research programs of the Solve ME/CFS Initiative, and she hopes others who love and care for someone with ME/CFS will join her on her team called “I’m Here for M.E.”
Learn more about Kaycee’s campaign, donate or send her a note of encouragement by visiting her Crowdrise page at https://www.crowdrise.com/imhereforme
To learn more about how you might create your own DIY Fundraising campaign and be a part of SMCI’s Team Solve, visit www.SolveCFS.org/Fundraising