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Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
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Bill Clayton
Features Writer
4:00 PM 16th May 2017
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Heading To Everest Base Camp For ME Awareness

Mick Phillips and Christopher Wilson with The York ME Community Flag on reaching Lhasa in Tibet
Mick Phillips and Christopher Wilson with The York ME Community Flag on reaching Lhasa in Tibet
As part of the efforts being made to raise awareness of ME, The York ME Community have a flag heading towards Everest Base Camp.

The idea is for the flag to be raised and hopefully result in media attention highlighting the cause.

Matt Jones and Christopher Wilson with the flag on display inside Potala Palace in Lhasa
Matt Jones and Christopher Wilson with the flag on display inside Potala Palace in Lhasa
The latest report from the group, Christopher Wilson said:

"Here is the flag on display inside the Potala Palace in Lhasa, built in 7th century and home of Dali Lamas and the centre of local Tibetan Government. Has over a 1000 rooms.

"Just after this we were approached by Chinese officials who confiscated the flag, obviously with hindsight westerners openly displaying and photographing a flag inside such a highly politically sensitive area was a bit suspect and ignorance on my part.

"Anyway eventually they allowed me to continue with the tour.

"At the end I went back to try to collect the flag but the main entrance was closed. There was me in a ludicrous position of banging my fist on the Dali Lama's main door shouting "hello, hello" anyone home" no one answered. The only advice I got from a colleague was "pretend you are planting something and I bet the police come running" not entirely wise.

"I found a side entrance and a surprisingly helpful security guard. They confiscated 4x flags that day but couldn't find mine. Eventually they got it, returned it and wouldn't accept a tip so all good and faith in human beings truly restored."

A journey of 360 km on Monday 15 May will take the group a little closer, with the hope of reaching Everest Base Camp on Friday 19 May.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), is a neurological illness that affects many people across the world.

Estimates are 250,000 in the UK and there are likely to be around 800 people in the York area, some 200 of them having severe ME, which means being house or bed bound. Many of those bed-bound can only feed through tubes, and have little hope of improvement.

This is a real illness affecting real people in your community.

The York ME Community is a Support Group reaching out to let people know that there is support in the York area. This is for those with ME, their friends, family or just for those who wish to learn more.

The support group also works to raise awareness, not only in the York area, but across the world in coordinated campaigns.