Sunday, November 12, 2006

Swimming with Dolphins for ME Research

On November 20, 2006 Edwina Evans is getting the chance to live her dream of swimming with the dolphins. And she’s using her good fortune as an opportunity to raise money for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) research.

Evans, who lives in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England, was diagnosed with ME in 1991 – a few months after she collapsed at work with what she thought was glandular fever. Her life changed dramatically as she struggled to support herself and her three sons, eventually having to go on state benefits.

Now that her sons are grown, Evans, 55, is working toward a degree in natural and environmental science with Open University, where she can work at her own pace as her health allows. Last year she also became a tutor, helping others who have long-term health problems.

A Contest Made Her Dream a Reality

Three years ago, Evans won a three-day Bahamas cruise in a contest on the Internet. Because of her health limitations, the sponsoring company agreed to let her transfer her prize to cover accommodations in Orlando, Florida. That is where her long-time dream will finally come true.

When I asked Evans what drew her to dolphins, she answered, “I used to spend hours with the children when they were little watching the dolphins play just off the coast where we lived in Wales. They have always held a fascination. Some years ago I did Tai Chi and meditation, and the most intense meditations I experienced I was always under water with dolphins. which seems really strange given the fact that I am scared of water. So the swim just has to be done.”

Raising Money for ME Research

Evans had two friends with multiple sclerosis who had recently done tandem skydives to raise money for their condition. She thought her swim with the dolphins would be the perfect opportunity, not only to live her own personal dream, but to share with other CFS/ME patients by raising money for research.

Any money Evans raises will go to ME Research UK, also known as MERGE (ME Research Group for Education and Support). If you would like to contribute to this research by sponsoring Evans at Donations are taken in British pounds sterling, however, if you are in the U.S. and use a credit card, the amount will be converted to US dollars. To find out the current dollar equivalent, check this currency converter.

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