This fund was set up to work to improve the availability of information, medical care and other services for people suffering from the Fibromyalgia, chronic pain and fatigue syndrome group of illnesses. Tracey died in 2002 after a long brave fight with unmanaged pain and increasing weakness from living with these medical conditions and the available treatments.

You can make a donation in Tracey’s name to Bridges & Pathways, or send a Direct Debit to:

BSB 805 050

Account 4342192

Name: Bridges & Pathways

 

Vale — Tracey Ash

By Glenn and Sandra Ash

At age 20, Tracey Ash was doing exactly what she desired: living in an apartment in down town Rundle Street, Adelaide amongst intelligent, artistic friends; studying at University; working in cafes and restaurants to sustain her way of life; making web-sites for major functions; and achieving top marks and recognition for her academic endeavours.

Tracey loved to party with friends and family, was sporty, artistic and keenly interested in people from all walks of life and their culture.

She was a person who was prepared to challenge herself emotionally, spiritually and intellectually, not to mention those around her. Her tenacity and resourceful nature stood her well for she did achieve; she was always courageous and had a wonderful ethical basis for her life.

The onset of Tracey’s illness is disputable. True, there was a day when struck down with a virus, she said, “I felt extreme pain in my neck and spine and the fog descended.” But in hindsight there had been a violent trauma in her life 2 years earlier and she had been “sicker than most of my friends.”

From then onwards her life gradually changed as her condition worsened. During the following years Tracey constantly searched for new possibilities of getting well for her greatest desire was to recover from her illness and to heal herself permanently.

Tracey suffered from ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Rickettsia, and an unbearable, undiagnosed source of pain. This caused difficulty in speaking and an inability to do even the most simple of routine tasks to care for herself.

She also suffered the frustrating normality of many standard medical tests and the indignity and tendency of orthodox medicine to attach a psychiatric label to her collection of illnesses. Added to this was the inability of being able to travel, tolerate hospital environments or see medical specialists. All she had was a local doctor, striving to understand and find answers to support her and her family.

The words of one of Tracey’s friends describe Tracey in a beautiful way. She wrote:

Tracey will live on in my heart forever as a great teacher and friend and is a major contributor to who I am today. She was a great support for me in my experience of CFS; she was a spark igniting my growth. Tracey was a great artist, communicator, dancer, writer, motivator, philosopher, interior designer, teacher and friend. One of the greatest lessons I learned and hold dear to my heart is that love is all that matters. Tracey told me this last year and I try to apply it wholly in my life.

In the end Tracey’s mountain became too high and too steep with too many obstacles in her path. Wellness became a faded and unreachable distant light. And so it was that Tracey, with dignity, thoughtfulness and great courage gently and peacefully commended her soul to God.

It is a tragedy that Tracey, a person with such zest for life had to spend such a lot of it in excruciating and relentless pain. She so much wanted to live. This and other desires that Tracey had will now remain as dreams unfulfilled. We are thankful for all the great memories we have of her.

Our wish is that people who knew Tracey will find strength comfort and joy in her memory. That her unique and beautiful character will live on forever and her spirit will continue to influence our lives. Remember her compassion, wit, intellect and the brilliance of her smile.

It is hoped that Tracey’s untimely death will light the way for health professionals to improve their knowledge of ME/CFS and inspire them to view this collection of illnesses in a new light. To this end the Tracey Ash Fund was born.