A woman with an ‘invisible’ illness has begun a 393 mile cycle to raise money for the association which helped her come to terms with it.
Julie Moore, 40, set up a support group in August which allows more than 30 sufferers to share their stories and exchange advice.
But to increase awareness of the condition and raise money for the Fibromyalgia Association, Julie is cycling the equivalent distance of her hometown Brackley to Paisley, Scotland - where the charity is based.
Julie said: “A couple of times so far, my legs have started to ache and I’ve thought right, how am I going to do this now?
“But Alison kept saying ‘are you ok?’ and I wanted to keep doing that little bit more.
“I don’t know how it will go from one day to the next but I wanted to get going and set myself some miles.
“It’s an awfully long way to go but I just need to keep going. I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s a big challenge for me.”
Julie has felt pain and stiffness in her muscles every day since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2011.
She slipped, dislocated her elbow and broke her wrist but when the pain remained months later, Julie was told she had the disabling muscle condition.
The unpredictable pains forced her to quit her job as a hairdresser after 14 years although she has recently been able to pick up the scissors again.
Julie cuts hair in the mornings and works at Brackley Post Office in the afternoons but she is now squeezing in miles on the bike as she chips away at her challenge.
She has cycled 25 miles at Brackley Leisure Centre this week with support from her friend Alison Daley.
Search for Fibro Cycle Challenge 2015 on Facebook to follow Julie’s progress.