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Your Champions: Barbara Turnbull nominated as Person of the Year

A CRUSADING pensioner with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) has been described as ‘a true community champion’.

Committed campaigner Barbara Turnbull, 77, started the Clwyd ME Support Group after developing the debilitating neurological disorder in 1988.

And earlier this year she launched a bid to get the NHS to open a centre dedicated to helping children with the condition.

Barbara, from Connah’s Quay, was the driving force behind the opening of two specialist treatment clinics for adults 11 years ago.

Now she wants the NHS to help young sufferers.

And her efforts have been recognised by Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami, who nominated her for a Trinity Mirror/ScottishPower Your Champions award.

Mr Tami said: “Barbara Turnbull has championed the need for greater research into ME for many years. She has also provided support for people across Wales, not just in the region where the support group is located.

“Barbara is a true community champion and a heroic figure who many people deeply respect.”

It is estimated by the ME Association about 4,000 people in every million are affected by ME. Of those, about 20% will be under-18s.

Based on that formula about 550 under-18s in North Wales – including 120 in Flintshire – have ME.

Barbara is currently researching and looking for child and teenage case studies before she goes to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and implores them to take action.

ME, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), is a debilitating illness which affects virtually every bodily system.