Alex Sobel, Labour MP for North West, fights for people with ME in Leeds.
Mr Sobel uses his position as a parliamentarian to highlight the suffering of those afflicted with ME to impress upon the government to treat it as a chronic physical condition and provide the financial support needed for vital research.
Since speaking at Leeds first Millions Missing event in 2019 Mr Sobel has continued his campaigning and sympathises with people suffering from the debilitating disease.
“On a human level I cannot bare to imagine how debilitating a condition such as this can be and how difficult it can be to experience a crash. However, I am also struck by the fact that even though there are 250,000 affected people in this country, it is still extremely difficult for people to receive an accurate diagnosis, sufficient treatment and benefits should people need them. Finally, I was also shocked to learn just how many parents of ME sufferers were referred to child protective services due to misunderstandings regarding the condition.”MP Alex Sobel sympathises with the ME community.
He hopes that the new research into Long COVID will only enhance the understanding of the long-term consequences of viral infections. Mr Sobel also believes that the medical community must take advice from those who have dealt with ME for a number of years, he said: “they understand better than anyone what the most effective treatment is likely to be”.
Mr Sobel believes campaigns such as #MillionsMissing are vital to help the pubic have a better understanding of ME.
“Raising public awareness will of course take time but I fully believe that if more people with ME share their personal experiences, they will find that people are willing to listen. It is also important that groups such as ME Action mount sustained campaigns at raising awareness among MPs as well as at government departments such as the Department for Health and the Department for Work and Pensions. Events such as Millions Missing have been and will be crucial in achieving these aims.”MP Alex Sobel encourages people to share their lived experiences.
His final thoughts he shared with ME & Me were ones of understanding and support across the city.
“To people with ME, I would say that I can barely imagine how hard it must be, not only live with such a debilitating and hindering condition, but to have your condition be misunderstood and often ignored for so long. However, I genuinely believe that although the process has been long and hard, attitudes are slowly shifting, and I will commit to doing my bit to pressure government to give ME the attention and resources it deserves.”MP Alex Sobel.
You can follow Mr Sobel’s campaigning on his Twitter page.