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Running marathons after ME/CFS

In April 2018, Angeline Cottrill, a recovered ME/CFS sufferer, completed the hottest London Marathon on record. She is planning on  running in the 2024 London Marathon, which will be her third London Marathon. 

Edited excerpt from Breakspear Medical Bulletin Issue 44:

Her name is Angeline

Few of us have dreamed to run a marathon and fewer still have suffered and recovered from ME/CFS and completed the London Marathon. Angeline Cottrill, has accomplished both.

If you have visited the clinic a few years ago, you have probably met Angeline. She is a gregarious personality who worked part-time as our Quality Manager, ensuring that patients’ needs were met and that the clinic operated efficiently while adhering to healthcare governing bodies’ regulations.

In 2018, she was a 43-year-old working mum and was pleased to share her story of recovery from ME/CFS with the hope that it might help other people.

Wanting to run

Her passion for running started five years prior when a friend persuaded her to run a 10k race. She was fairly fit from gym classes and after completing that 10k race, she progressed to half marathons and then after a couple of years, she decided to complete a full marathon. However, she then began experiencing debilitating symptoms, such as waves of fatigue, malaise, shortness of breath and intensifying chest pains. The symptoms concerned her and she thought it best to go to the urgent care centre, where they diagnosed her with a viral infection and told her to rest.

The symptoms did not go away and when she returned to her GP, he was dismissive of her symptoms, suggesting they were the result of anxiety and prescribed an anti-depressant.

It was not an easy journey of recovery from ME/CFS; however, just two years ago, she was able to start exercising again, re-join her running club and then won a place in the London Marathon 2018.

Services at Breakspear Medical that helped

While preparing for the London Marathon, Angeline took advantage of some of the services available at Breakspear Medical, which included using the IRATHERM® whole-body hyperthermia bed to detoxify and to help speed recovery from lactic acid build-up accumulated during training, and the Magnoter bed to help relieve aches and pains by reducing inflammatory response, as well as some body-wellness tests and advice on nutritional supplements to help her perform at her best.

Update on Angeline’s story

After being bedridden and housebound with ME/CFS for just over a year in the mid 2010s, Angeline has enjoyed full health for over 8 years now and is set to run the London Marathon for a third time this year.

Since her recovery from ME/CFS, she has completed 6 marathons and 7 triathlons. Angeline wholeheartedly believes the treatments and services at Breakspear Medical, such as the IRATHERM® and Magnoter, as well as sound dietary advice, were all essential to maintaining her good health and achieving her athletic accomplishments.

She hopes her success story gives hope to others with ME/CFS that full recovery is possible. She remembers that when she was ill, she had felt like she was never going to get well or that she would relapse again. However, Angeline is living proof that one can regain health and she thrilled to be running the iconic London Marathon again.

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