Chesterfield women fight to get ‘debilitating illness’ officially recognised as a disability

Three sisters from Inkersall have told Peak FM of their struggle in coping with a genetic condition known as fibromyalgia.

Adrienne Lakin, Sarah Lakin and Leanne Marie Lakin all suffer from the condition, and they sat down and told Peak FM the harrowing details of their struggle to cope with it, and their fight to get the issue discussed in parliament.

So far they have received more than 10,000 signatures but require around 100,000 to get MP’s to discuss it.

At the moment fibromyalgia is deemed as an impairment in the Equality act 2010, and the main symptoms of the condition are widespread pain in the muscles and bones, areas of tenderness, and general fatigue.

However there are several other symptoms associated with the condition, including: Extreme sensitivity, Stiffness, Fatigue, Poor sleep quality, Cognitive problems, Headaches, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), dizziness and clumsiness, feeling too hot or too cold, restless legs syndrome, tingling, numbness, prickling or burning sensations in your hands and feet, anxiety and depression.

Adrienne Lakin said: “It affects family life and friendships. You do lose friends over it. I’ve lost my job through ill health and the job centre put me on employment support allowance but I can’t look for work, the doctors don’t allow me to.”

Sarah said: “It makes you feel like you’re helpless. This is why we’re campaigning because so many people out there struggle with this on a day-to-day basis.. We’re having to use walking aids and my sisters are only in their 20’s.”

Currently sufferers of fibromyalgia do not receive any help from the government when they are in too much pain to work, but the Lakin sisters are working to change that. They have been campaigning to get the illness recognised as a genuine disability in parliament to aid those suffering from it, and to provide extra support and awareness for Fibromyalgia.

Leeann Marie Lakin added: “My eight-year-old has seen me go from the fun-loving, chasing around, happy-go-lucky mum, to virtually an old woman. I shouldn’t be having to ask an eight year old to look after a 29-year-old. That’s not on.”

LISTEN: Three Chesterfield sisters discuss the difficulty of living with Fibromyalgia.

They have also set up a website and Facebook page to raise extra awareness of the condition, both of which are filled with information on the girls’ campaign.

The petition to get Fibromyalgia discussed in parliament can be found here:

It’s Not Fibromyalgia. Most Likely You are Not Aware

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