South Down UUP MLA John McCallister has pledged his support to the many sufferers of debilitating neuro-immune diseases such as ME and Fibromyalgia.
Mr McCallister attended a meeting of the Newry and Mourne ME and Fibromyalgia Support Group last week in the Mourne Country Hotel.
As party spokesman on Health, Mr McCallister said he would be lobbying for Government funded research into these diseases as well as raising awareness of the desperation felt by so many people in the South Down area.
He said, “The Newry and Mourne group is ran by local woman Joan McParland and I found the meeting particularly informative, but I admit I was shocked by what I heard. “Children as young as 10 years are suffering with these conditions. There is so little information available regarding Neuro-immune diseases.
“Those who suffer with these invisible, yet painful and debilitating conditions, have had to resort to doing their own research into finding methods to ease suffering in their quest to make their day to day life bearable. “People have lost careers, social lives and even their homes due to these chronic conditions.”
Mr McCallister added, “Sufferers have been heartened to learn that there has been intense research on these issues by the Whittemore Peterson Institute, Nevada, USA which has yielded extremely promising results.”
The Newry and Mourne group will be in Stormont on Tuesday 11th October and Dr Judy Mikovits, the leading scientist from WPI will also attend. Mr McCallister added, “I fully support this group and through my position as party health spokesman, I will be discussing this with the Health Committee and urging the Minister to consider his options as a matter of priority. ”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Newry and Mourne group – which covers all of South Down should contact Joan McParland on 07712892834.
The group meets again on Tuesday 4th October – and thereafter the first Tuesday night of every month at 7pm in the Mourne Country Hotel, Belfast Road, Newry. They are holding a fundraising Comedy Show in Newry Town Hall on Thursday 22nd September at 8pm and everyone is welcome to come along and support the event.