SHARON Turnbull is on a mission to find Ayrshire sufferers of debilitating condition Fibromyalgia to offer them support and help in securing benefits they may be entitled to.

The 45-year-old set up her own charity, More Than Fibro, last year and now has over 1,000 members.

She organises walking groups around the country and has started a podcast to show the people living with this condition that they can live a full and happy life.

Sharon’s turning point came when she attempted to take her own life and realised she had to tackle her condition head on and left a company she was working with to focus on setting up her own support organisation.

“I just felt I didn’t have a future, I couldn’t face a life of constant pain and feeling like a disappointment with nothing to offer the world,. Fortunately, I’m still here but I’ve battled hard to hold on,” said Sharon.

“In July 2020 I couldn’t walk to my car, I couldn’t go upstairs without such extreme pain and breathlessness that I truly believed might be my last breath.

“I spent 10 days in hospital and felt there was no support available for me from anyone who actually understood my condition so I decided it was time to set one up myself.

“Some people thought I was insane to launch mid-pandemic but I knew from personal experience that people needed my support more than ever and I now run an advocacy service helping members access benefits.”

Despite suffering with her mobility and relying on a walking stick, Sharon has set herself a challenge of walking eight 5km walks between May 10 and 17.

“I want to show others that a life with chronic illness is not the life I hoped for but now that it’s the one I’ve got its time for me to own it, time to show others they can own it too, and say thanks,” said Sharon.

And Irvine’s Low Green will be on one of her walking routes where sufferers can go along and meet her for a chat and advice as she undertakes her challenge.

Sharon went on: “Every penny I raise will be put towards increasing the support I can offer, launching support groups, taking on more advocacy cases and showing real people with Fibromyalgia what real people with Fibromyalgia can achieve.”

Join the Facebook group at More Than Fibro.