Just two years ago, Aimee Bowker enjoyed celebrating her birthday on a night out in Blackpool with family and friends, including her mum.
But now, just coming up her 23rd birthday, her mum – Jane Hogan, known to her friends as ‘Jay’ – is sometimes unable to even get out the house.
Jane, 45, from Fleetwood, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a couple of years ago.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, which causes pain all over the body, including muscle and joint pain.
It can leave trigger points painful to touch, cause swelling, and cause muscles to twitch, burn or have a deep stabbing pain. Sufferers also experience extreme fatigue.
Now Aimee, her family and friends have joined together in a bid to raise money for vital equipment for Jane.
A group of about a dozen men are joining in an effort dubbed Septem-beard, or No Shave September, in which they are being challenged not to shave for a whole month.
And Aimee’s partner, Wesley Gray, has already had his legs waxed.
The family is also auctioning items online in a bid to raise cash.
They want to buy a new wheelchair for Jane, as she currently only has a transport wheelchair – which allows her to get out and about, but leaves her exhausted and uncomfortable from using it.
She also needs a specialised reclining bed, which the family have been raising money for, to allow her to sleep at night.
Aimee said: “My mum deteriorated so rapidly in the last couple of years.
“Having this new wheelchair would make such a massive difference to her.
“She would be able to go out with her grandchildren to the park and enjoy it, rather than know it’s going to cause her pain.
“She was a nail technician, she worked as a massage therapist and did other beauty treatments, but she had to give up work.
“My step-dad is also classed as disabled, as he is a kidney patient. My sister helps my mum with shopping, my brother helps her a lot as he lives at home, and I help when I can. We hope to raise awareness, as well as money to pay for the equipment.
“Any extra money we raise, we will be donating to the Fibroduck Fibromyalgia. They fund research into the condition, to try to find out what causes it.
“We want to help increase people’s understanding of what it’s like to live with the condition, how painful it is and how it affects everyday life.
“The support we’ve had has been unbelievable – people paying way above the value of items on the online auction and some of the men doing the beard challenge have never even met my mum and are helping, which is lovely.”
Jane said: “I have been given a lot of help from my occupational therapist, they have installed items in my home to help, bed rails, stair rails and so on.
“We want to be able to do something ourselves and not put a drain on the system.
“If I can get my own bed and chair, then someone else can benefit and not have to wait as long.”
l To support the family, visit www.fundrazr.com/campaigns/9r4J2/ab/e3Wu86