Freo lights up for chronic fatigue

Fremantle’s most iconic buildings will be illuminated blue on Saturday night in recognition of people living with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Round House cliffs, Victoria Hall, and the Moore’s Building will be joining landmarks around the world as part of the International CFS Awareness Day on May 12.

City of Fremantle councillor Rachel Pemberton said medical professionals and funding bodies needed to recognise CFS as a serious health issue.

“There are thousands of people out there in our community who are living with this every day and its impacting them greatly and yet people who go seek medical help are often very frustrated and don’t get the kind of help that they need,” she said.

“So it’s far more widespread than we think and, when you start to scratch the surface, you realise there’s many of our constituents living with this or supporting people living with this and need help.

“This is about trying to address that. There is a lot of misunderstanding out there about this illness and we hope that that starts to get resolved in time.”

There will also be a display of more than 100 empty shoes at noon in Pioneer Park on Saturday to represent people with chronic fatigue who miss work, school, sporting and social events because of their condition.

“I did this at the request of my sister, who lives with the disease and has been feeling very frustrated and wanting some advocacy on the issue, and in the process, I’ve discovered that there are many people I know in my community who actually also have the disease,” Ms Pemberton said.

“Often, there’s jokes made about chronic fatigue and whether it really exists or whether people are just a bit tired or just a bit depressed. We need to stop that dismissive attitude. We need to stop making jokes about it or not taking people seriously.

“We need to understand that this is a proper illness and that we need to give these people due regard and try and find some solutions.”

You can check out other Australian landmarks and buildings lighting up for CFS Awareness Day here.