I am a teenage girl that has suffered from CFS/ME for 2 and a half years. I was a healthy and active 15 year old, who enjoyed school and took part in many extra curricular activities such as acting, running and painting as well as maintaining an active social life. Then in July 2013 I contracted glandular fever and afterwards my health rapidly declined and my school attendance dropped to below 40% whilst taking my GCSEs. I tried GET with the NHS but this did not help and I had to drop out of education all together in October 2014. I was soon bed bound 90% of the time with very severe headaches so I couldn't even leave the house or watch TV. My health however did significantly improve in spring of this year and despite an unfortunate relapse this autumn through the support of my practitioner I now believe I can see a way forward to slowly regain my health for good. Over the past few years I have been supported massively by my friends and family but I still find myself constantly having to explain what CFS/ME is to many people I meet. Many people try to empathise but if they have heard of it quite a lot of people believe it is 'simply feeling a bit tired' or 'can't be that bad' and some even shockingly believe it isn't a real health issue at all and is simply exaggerated or fabricated. CFS/ME is a neurological condition that affects every system in your body and can leave extreme sufferers with no life left at all. Even at a milder level it is a constant mental and physical strain with symptoms including brain fog, severe migraines, lack of muscular function and intense chronic pain. Luckily, there are many fantastic new and exciting opportunities for people to get better and as medical research into neurological patterns develops it seems there is now a light at the end of the tunnel for ME sufferers. But getting better requires an insane amount of mental strength and determination and varies dramatically on each person- without the right support it seems there can be no way out. There has been a dramatic increase in awareness for mental health issues in 2015 to help finally challenge the stigma against depression and anxiety which finally led to Jeremy Corbyn appointing a Shadow Minister to Mental Health (Luciana Berger.) I am thrilled with this development and would love nothing more than to see the same awareness being raised for chronic conditions such as CFS/ME, chronic pain, MS and Fibromyalgia. This petition is directed at my local MP Tulip Siddiq to encourage her to find a way forward to promote awareness of chronic illness in Hampstead & Kilburn to help challenge the stigma and help those suffering feel less isolated and ignored. Eventually I would love to see this issue raised in Parliament and perhaps ask Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt what he should be doing to tackle the myths around chronic illness hands on. Thank you so much and if you know anybody with CFS/ME or suffer yourself please know that you are not alone and are valued in society.