The former ME sufferer that has walked across America
- Credit: Steve Siegert
Twenty years ago Jane Siegert barely had the energy to shower and had to give up her civil service job due to a debilitating disease.
The elite marathon runner was due to take on the London Marathon when she fell ill with ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome) ending her dreams of ever running competitively again.
Now, in a bid to give hope to people living with the disease today she has walked across America and sent a flurry of postcards home, without leaving her seaside village.
Mrs Siegert went through five pairs of trainers and finally reached journey's end clocking up 2,280 miles on Sunday at Santa Monica pier - aka Hopton beach.
The 52-year-old set out on January 1 from the start of Route 66 in Chicago with the aim of taking a year to complete the charity challenge, but found she got ahead of herself completing the route on Sunday (November 19).
She followed her progress via an app virtually passing through Texas, New Mexico, and finally Las Vegas.
In reality her trip was mainly walking around Hopton, the beach, and woods, sometimes with friends and dog Darcy and punctuated by chats with locals about her progress.
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Mrs Siegert, a teaching assistant, has raised over £2,000 for Invest in ME, a research facility based at the University of East Anglia.
Speaking about her experience of having ME she said: "They were not good times."
"I just had no life.
"I think back to myself 20 years ago when even having a shower would mean I would have to sleep for four hours.
"It's not really sunk in that I have walked across America this year. It felt really good.
"Lots of people have been asking about it which is lovely."
Mrs Siegert's daugher Ellen, 18, was diagnosed with ME in March 2018.
"The very first day she fell ill she was saying exactly the same things that I had said when I had it.
"She is gradually improving. She has seen me and knows she will get better, she just doesn't know when."
To donate visit Jane's Route 66 Conqueror Challenge page on Just Giving.