Support group for people with chronic illnesses marks third anniversary

Chronic illness sufferers unite for support group third anniversary in Ely. Picture: MARIA STABLEFORD.

Chronic illness sufferers unite for support group third anniversary in Ely. Picture: MARIA STABLEFORD.

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A support group that helps people battling chronic illnesses in Fenland has celebrated its third anniversary.

Chronic illness sufferers unite for support group third anniversary in Ely. Picture: MARIA STABLEFORD.Chronic illness sufferers unite for support group third anniversary in Ely. Picture: MARIA STABLEFORD.

Maria Stableford set up 'Fenland Chronic Illnesses' after being diagnosed with a heart issue, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis.

She wanted to create a support network where people could meet to chat with others who understood the pain they were in.

The group has since grown to 140 members who suffer from cancer, fibromyalgia, ME, MS and arthritis.

"When I was diagnosed with my condition my whole life in an instant came crashing down," Maria said.

Chronic illness sufferers unite for support group third anniversary in Ely. Picture: MARIA STABLEFORD.Chronic illness sufferers unite for support group third anniversary in Ely. Picture: MARIA STABLEFORD.

"I had so many questions and I looked for ways to meet with people who had similar issues to me - but there didn't seem to be any groups locally.

"So I decided to set up my own and it wasn't long before I was contacted by many sufferers of different illnesses."

Members now meet twice a month on the second and last Friday at 10.30am at Starbucks in The Cloisters, Ely.

Maria continued: "What has become clear to me is that sufferers with a variety of illnesses often struggle with the same things but now we can unite and offer support to each other."

Friendly and informal support is also provided through the Fenland Chronic Illnesses Facebook page.

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