Rachel on the walk of her life
THERE was a time when Rachel Klyve of Kyogle struggled to walk to her letterbox.
"When I was 15 I had a bad dose of glandular fever and I just didn't get better," she recalled.
"Six months later I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue."
Ms Klyve was bed-ridden for five years and watched helplessly as her life drifted by.
"Socially I became extremely isolated. I went from being a child to a woman and I was sick the whole time," she said.
But Ms Klyve eventually got well and has embarked on a 700km walk from Byron Bay to Sydney.
"The main aim of the walk is to show people who have chronic fatigue syndrome that someone who was once extremely ill can get better and do something a little bit exceptional," she said.
Ms Klyve, a Lismore Base Hospital pediatric nurse, will predominantly walk along beaches and raise funds from people along the way. The money will go to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Australia.
"Part of the reason I'm trying to raise funds for chronic fatigue syndrome is because it is poorly funded," Ms Klyve said.
"People often have to fund it themselves."
Ms Klyve had to take a 10kg back-pack with her.
"I think the pack will probably get heavy," she said.
Although Ms Klyve had overcome chronic fatigue, she remained cautious.
"I have to be careful about how much I do," she said.
The cause of chronic fatigue is not known and Ms Klyve hoped more research would be done.