A DEMONSTRATION was held to raise awareness of a neurological illness affecting a quarter of a million people in the UK.

In what was the first event of its kind in Brighton, pairs of shoes were laid on a pavement to highlight awareness of ME – encephalomyelitis.

The shoes represented those too ill to attend.

The demonstration, held during ME Awareness Week promoted Millions Missing, a global campaign for ME health equality.

Tags were tied to the shoes with notes on written by fellow ME sufferers.

The messages included: “Missing since 2006.

“I miss my life, family and friends.

“I miss my independence, being the parent I was, restful sleep, my art, socialising, sunny days, a functional brain and body.

“I miss being pain free.”

Another said: “Missing since 2010. I miss playing with my son, I miss working, walking along the beach, yoga, seeing friends, living my life”.

Another said: “Missing since 2004. I miss the person I might have been and I miss the career I have never had, I miss the children I won’t be well enough to have.”

One of the main aims of the Millions Missing campaign is to call for funding to research more about the illness.

It rallies around the world for increased government funding for research, clinical trials, medical education and public awareness.

Members of Brighton ME Mums, a group of mothers who have suffered or are suffering with ME, supported the demonstration.

Lucinda Blackadder, who runs Brighton Mums, said: “One of the nicest things to arise out of this demo in Brighton was that a fair number of people with ME joined us and we were able to put isolated people in touch with each other.

“We have also gained a few more ME mums and an ME dad.”

The demonstration was held at the bottom of North Street, by the Chapel Royal in Princes Place.

Lucinda said: “ME is a devastating neurological illness affecting many body systems.

“It causes severe muscle pain throughout the body, intense fatigue, fever, headaches, dizziness, brain fog and a myriad of other debilitating symptoms.

“There are 20 million sufferers around the world and 250,000 in the UK.

“There is currently no accepted cure and no universally effective treatment.”