The city of Southampton will join hundreds of thousands of people worldwide for #MissingMillions on May 12.

Organized by #MEAction, #MissingMillions will highlight the plight of ME sufferers around the world and is a Global Day of Action to call on health officials and governments to end the inequality of funding and research into this debilitating illness.

The day will see the lining up of ‘empty’ shoes and footwear of ME sufferers from across the south of England, footwear that has been unused and made redundant by this debilitating illness.

Jennifer Brea, co-founder of #MEAction, said: “This is about more than just a disease. This has become a social justice issue. There simply must be more research funding and appropriate medical education in order to stop this epidemic,”

From 2006-2015 ME had £4 per patient per year spent on research funding, a small percentage of which had a biomedical focus. In comparison MS patients had £80 per patient per year.

It is estimated that there are over 250,000 people in the UK suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), (also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME/CFS), many of whom are children and all of whom do not have the ability to stand up and speak out for themselves these are just some of the #MissingMillions worldwide.

Claire Tripp, mother of 16-year-old ME sufferer Emma, said: “Research into ME is so under-funded, which means finding cures and treating this silent and unseen illness is based on limited information and out of date, and often incorrect, medical opinion. #MissingMillions is a chance for those impacted by ME to stand together and show that this is a real illness, and it does need to be supported in a much better way. Government and health professionals can’t keep ignoring the issue.”