Dad-of-two Ian Minty is on a campaign to help others after his life was turned upside-down by ME.
Ian, 62, was a volunteer at Broxbourne Rangers FC and the Hoddesdon 2nd Sea Scouts before being struck down by the illness Myalgic Encepalopathy (ME), which causes severe exhaustion.
He is now hoping to raise funds for others with the illness and to make people more aware of the condition.
Ian, of Hoddesdon, said: “A lot of people don’t even know what it is, though that’s getting better.
“It’s something that very little is known about, even though it is a recognised condition. It can be very debilitating – people think it is just tiredness, but it is total exhaustion. It is something that you don’t ever get over.
“There are various levels of suffering, and some people can be left in wheelchairs or bed-bound.
“I’m trying to raise the profile and get people to understand more about it. It used to be seen as people not wanting to do things, but it has been around for a long time.
“The problem used to be getting a diagnosis, with doctors thinking that there isn’t anything wrong with you.
“There are problems not just medically, but also with getting help and support to do other things. Action on ME, which we are raising money for, offer general support as well, because it is a condition that impacts on your whole life.”
Ian held an ME Awareness Day with music and entertainment in Hoddesdon High Street on May 12.