Concerned that many people with ME lose faith after being told they have the incurable condition, Emma Donohoe is showing that with determination and self-belief it can get better.
Her story was shown on ITV News Tyne Tees on Monday 14th July.
Diagnosed at the age of 18, the 20-year-old from Choppington, Northumberland is sharing her story to inspire others with the illness to stay positive and believe it can be overcome.
‘I thought I was the happiest and physically fittest I have ever been. I loved to dance and exercise,’ explains Emma.
‘But in the space of about three weeks, I realised there was something wrong.
‘They referred me to hospital in Newcastle to see a specialist. He sat me down and said, “You have ME”.
‘I thought I’d never get better and wondered what the point of living was.
‘I honestly believe that many who have ME lose hope, because from the day they get diagnosed, they are told they cannot recover. But that’s not true.’
Professor Julia Newton of Newcastle University features in the broadcast explaining how the condition can affect people.
‘ME is a constellation of symptoms, which predominantly include fatigue and can be very debilitating.
‘We know that people can often become bed-bound by it.’
After supplementing her diet with healthy juice drinks and taking up yoga, Emma says she’s seen a vast improvement and maintains that being optimistic is the key to recovery.
She adds: ‘There are things you can do that help. One of which is surrounding yourself with people who aren’t just positive, but are realistic, and believe you can get better.
‘I’m doing this, not to just to raise awareness - I want to spread the message by telling people that there is hope.’
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