St Albans ME sufferer tackles Ben Nevis for charity

Emma Jenkins

Emma Jenkins - Credit: Archant

An ME sufferer is taking on the highest mountain in Britain to raise money for charity.

Emma and Peter Jenkins

Emma and Peter Jenkins - Credit: Archant

Emma Jenkins, of Redbourn, was diagnosed with the neurological disorder in 1999 - she was bed-bound and spoon-fed for five years and in a wheelchair for many months after that.

The 44-year-old finally started to get her strength back walking a bichon frise called Meme and five years after that felt confident enough to move into her own home.

She has been working part-time as a waitress in Redbourn’s The Hub for about six years.

Even though the challenge may risk her health, Emma is determined to climb Ben Nevis on foot with her husband Peter, 39, in order to raise awareness of the condition and money for the ME Association.

She said: “My worse days were lying in bed trapped, in pain and feeling lonely.

“I became imprisoned in my own room and could not sleep for weeks. My mum had to feed me with food that I was not allergic to as my immune system wasn’t working properly and I was too weak to feed myself.”

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Emma and Peter first challenged themselves to climb Snowden a few years ago, and since then have tackled both Scafell Pike and Skiddaw. However, Ben Nevis is the highest of them all.

She said: “I was treated for ME back in 1999 and there was not any support at all then - the charity group was very small and it is quite big now. Now people support each other online and on social media, but it was tough back then because I just had pen friends.

“It is about raising awareness. It is very important because I want to reach out to others with ME and give them hope that there can be a better quality of life, living with ME, like I have experienced.

“I want them to see that it is possible. It is controversial but I have done it. There is no cure but raising awareness gets more money for research for a cure.”

Emma thanked South Mimms Travel, which are paying for their flights up to Scotland.

ME causes severe fatigue, sleep problems, muscle and joint pain, headaches and a sore throat, as well as problems thinking, remembering and concentrating, flu-like symptoms, feelings of dizziness and sickness, and heart palpitations.

Emma’s climb up Ben Nevis is scheduled to take place on May 30. Donate at