Inspirational Exeter woman with ME gives hopes to others with illness | 28 July 2017

From DevonLive.com, 25 July, 2017.

Like most people, “life and soul of the party” Mary Cousins took her good health for granted until she began experiencing excruciating stomach pains.

In the past six years, the 66-year-old has endured major bowel surgery as well as being treated for a strangulated hernia and clinical depression. Then she was diagnosed with ME.

Mary, of Exeter, admits to having previously been a “complete sceptic” about the illness which affects people of all ages and causes intense physical or mental exhaustion.

Despite her problems, Mary is determined to not let her health stop her enjoying life so she has set herself the challenge of visiting all 74 cathedrals in the UK which are members of The Association of Cathedrals, and will walk as many steps as she can with her mobility walker.

Mary began her Wobbly Steps mission in April, starting off with Exeter Cathedral, and has already visited 20 cathedrals. She has given herself two years to complete the challenge. As well as hoping to raise awareness of ME, she is fundraising for the ME Association.

Mary, a mother-of-two, said: “There are many, many people, including some of those in the medical profession, who are very sceptical about ME and believe it is often thought of as an excuse to be lazy.

“Believe me that those of us who genuinely suffer from ME are not lazy. It’s not like being tired. It leaves you completely exhausted with chronic fatigue. It’s like someone has struck you down. Your bones aches and it feels as if you have flu.

“In my case it’s too easy to give into it and fold up and go to sleep. But if you move, even if it’s just to walk up the stairs, it does help just to do something.

“I set myself the Wobbly Steps challenge to get out and raise money for the ME Association. It is helping me to battle ME, and although it is hard I will not give up and hide under the duvet.

“I am fortunate to have good days and then crash. Some ME sufferers rarely have good days. Moral support is as important, if not more important, to my challenge, and awareness of ME is very close to my heart as so many young people have their lives destroyed by it.”

You can read more of this article, here.


If you would like to support Mary on her wobbly-journey around the UK to raise funds for desperately needed research, or follow her progress and view some stunning photos, then please visit her fundraising page.