Sheffield students (and their Head) take the plunge for Fran

Fran Hoyland (far right, second row) and friends
Fran Hoyland (far right, second row) and friends

Life changed for sixth form student Fran Hoyland the day she woke up from a nap, and found she was paralysed from the waist down.

Thankfully, the paralysis didn’t last, but it signalled the onset of debilitating illness that is still misunderstood.

Eighteen-year old Fran has now suffered from ME, or myalgic encephalitis, for the past two years. Its impact has been such that she and four friends, along with her college headteacher, are to plunge from the skies next month to raise cash for research.

Fran said: “From the day of the paralysis I have suffered from an illness unlike anything else I had ever experienced previously.

“I now live a life that is drastically different from the one I had hoped for, and day to day life can be very difficult and testing. My condition is mild compared to others. Some are so sick that they must live in a darkened room, unable to communicate or even feed themselves.”

Despite her illness, Fran has kept to her A-level courses at Chapeltown Academy Sixth Form College while raising funds for ME Research UK with events from a headshave to bake sales and dress up days. A goal of £1500 has already been exceeded and Fran and her friends hope to push up the total further still.

Fellow sky diver Libby Hewson said: “We are hoping to make money to help research for ME and to raise awareness for the hidden disability which affects many people. We are incredibly proud of Fran and would like to help get her message out and raise the money she deserves for the work she has put in.” See Facebook page (@SkydiveforME), twitter (@SkydivingforME) and JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Fran-Hoyland