“This walk is going to be a major challenge for me – I suffer from fibromyalgia which makes extensive physical exercise a challenge, but my fiancé and I are rising to the occasion to support a charity close to my heart.”

Bethany Fundraiser, Emma Dolphin is pushing her limits this September by signing up to the popular Edinburgh Kiltwalk, in support of Bethany Christian Trust.

Emma will be taking part in the 26 mile ‘Mighty Stride’, an event that would prove physically challenging for most people – but for Emma, who suffers from fibromyalgia – walking a full marathon is almost unthinkable.

“Sometimes when I have a flare up, even doing basic tasks can be a nightmare. Fibromyalgia is often seen as a minor condition, but it can dramatically affect your day to day life.”

Like many other people who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), Emma lives with a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. People who suffer from this condition may also experience extreme fatigue, muscle stiffness, difficulty sleeping and problems with memory and concentration (known as fibro-fog). Still widely regarded as an under researched illness, fibro patients like Emma, often have to consult with a variety of healthcare professionals, such as rheumatologists, neurologists and psychologists to get to the bottom of their diagnosis.

“I know a few people who have felt defeated by their diagnosis from the beginning. But I don’t want to be like that. I want to keep showing up and doing my part. For me, choosing to not let fibro keep me from doing the things I want to do, is half the battle.”

This is her first fundraising challenge for the organisation. “I’m part of a team at Bethany that is responsible for writing fundraising campaigns but I’ve never put my money where my mouth is. So this year, my fiancé Joe and I are taking on the Mighty Stride in support of this great charity.

In the weeks leading up to the big day, Emma is undergoing a strict training regime with her fiancé, Joe. While it’s no easy task training to walk a full marathon while battling chronic fatigue, muscle pain and fibro-fog, Emma knows that her efforts will be worth it in the end.

“When I’m facing my challenges, I’m doing it in a lovely home with a comfortable future and an incredible support network. Homeless people in Edinburgh don’t have that. If I can do something really hard to make their life at least a little easier, that’s what I’m going to do”.

You can support Emma and her fundraising challenge by donating to her Just Giving page.