Leeds joins global #MillionsMissing event to raise awareness of ME

People across Leeds affected by the debilitating disease ME are once again joining forces with others across the globe in the awareness-raising Millions Missing event.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 4:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 1:36 pm
Charlie Wainwright, 24, Leeds campaigner for ME. Picture: Tony Johnson

The annual day of action, which takes place today, Wednesday May 12, is run by charity ME Action to raise awareness of the disease - called myalgic encephalomyelitis - and fight for better funding towards research

Leeds campaigner Charlie Wainwright, 24, oversees the city’s ME activism and launched the first ever Leeds Millions Missing event in 2019.

The campaign aims to highlight the issue that millions are missing from their careers, schools, families and communities because of the disease, a neurological condition which causes pain and chronic tiredness and affects around 250,000 people in the UK.

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Although this year’s event will be held virtually, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Charlie, who was diagnosed with the condition when she was 11, said she hopes it will lead to the event reaching “even more people” than usual.

Charlie, who recently launched her own website which continues to gain followers, said: “I'm really excited to once again bring Millions Missing to Leeds.

"Leeds ME activism is increasing every month and thanks to Leeds Millions Missing Facebook page and the ME & Me website we're reaching more and more people every day.

“Due to the pandemic and current restrictions this year's event is taking place online but this enables us to reach even more people, have a bigger impact and be more accessible than ever before.

“The response to the event has been incredible already with people reaching out to the website, sharing the lineup via social media and getting involved by sending in selfies.

"It's so rewarding to hear not only from people who attended the 2019 event, and have followed Leeds ME activism since then, but also to connect with new people across the city who are finding us online. The ME community in Leeds is really gaining momentum.”

This year’s event will feature interviews and stories from those in Yorkshire living, or caring for those, with ME.

And people with ME from across Leeds have also been sending in their #MillionsMissing selfies as part of the campaign activity.

Throughout the day, interviews will go live on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LeedsMillionsMissingon YouTube and also on Charlie's website at https://me-and-me.blog.

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