A rock concert will be held in Chester to raise awareness of a condition which strikes millions of people each year, leaving them with lifelong chronic pain.
Four years ago, Jackie Williams, from Hoole – a fit and healthy long distance runner – was struck down by fibromyalgia, an incurable condition which has left her needing to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
The 47-year-old, who lives with her husband David Williams in Deeside, suffers severe pain throughout her body 24 hours a day and spends most of her time in bed.
He explained how Jackie, who was once a ‘fitness fanatic’, first noticed symptoms of the condition while exercising at the gym.
“Four years ago she was running seven miles a day and she would go to the gym at least once a day,” David said.
“She was in the gym when she first noticed pain in her hands and her feet, but to begin, she just put it down to working too hard.
“Over the next 12 months, the pain became worse and worse and before we knew it, it had hit her like a train.
“The pain has now become so bad she has only moved out of bed once in three weeks and is now wheelchair-bound.
“She is in pain 24 hours a day – so many people with this condition give up but you have to look forward and learn to live with it.
“You cannot let it beat you – you have to live with it and not against it.”
A number of artists and bands have been added to the lineup for the event, including Koozie Johns, a London musician who is fighting the condition himself, punk folk band Headsticks, 80s punk band Danse Society who are currently on tour in Europe, punk band Expelaires, local Chester rock artist Kneel and Dave Sharp from the Alarm.
A DJ set will also be held into the early hours at the Commercial Hotel, Chester, by John Locke following the Live Rooms event.
Money raised will go towards funding a course of intensive pain relief treatment, unavailable on the NHS, for people in the local area with the condition.
David said he is determined to help others fight the condition, which is thought to affect one in every 20 people in the UK each year.
He added: “My dream is to help people and to give them some respite from the pain they are locked into every day, so, I started to look for ways to raise awareness.
“I came across a musician called Koozie Johns from London who also suffers with fibromyalgia. He said he would be prepared to make the trip from London to Chester especially for the event.
“As the months have gone by, I have been contacted by other bands willing to travel to Chester.
“Every penny we make from this event will go to towards funding a course of pain relief treatment in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for local people with this condition.
“There is no magic wand for this illness, but this treatment can free them from pain for a few hours and I will help as many people as I possibly can.”
Tickets cost £10 per person and doors will open at 7pm on Saturday, April 1.
To donate, visit HERE or for more information, visit the Rock Off Fibro Facebook page.