It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mrs. Eileen Gill, a lady most of you may never have heard of but whose work impacted on almost every one of you.
In its early days, RLS-UK was known as The Ekbom Support Group, a group which was founded in 1988 by Eileen, herself a sufferer who lived with RLS. After retiring from her 30 years in the teaching profession, Eileen read everything she could find regarding RLS and formed The Ekbom Support Group in 1988, which she continued to manage until she retired in October 2007. In the first 15 years she kept a register, in which she recorded over 15,000 enquiries. By the time she retired in 2007 it had risen to 25,000 enquiries.
Eileen ran the support group from her home for almost 20 years. During this time she contacted hospitals, doctors, newspapers and journalists and was acquainted with RLS sufferers all over the world. She kept knocking on doors until someone would listen to her and realise that RLS was a real condition and that many thousands of people were in urgent need of a treatment for RLS. She was invited by Professor K.Ray Chaudhuri and his colleagues at the time to join in a newly formed RLS research group and to give the group the benefit of her experience. These two groups, one the support group and the other the research group, would eventually merge to become RLS-UK.
Although Eileen preferred to remain out of the public eye she was nominated to receive a much deserved award for the hard work and dedication she had shown to supporting people living with RLS and was invited to attend The Tower Of London to receive her award. Without Eileen's tireless work and dedication, awareness of RLS and the medical treatments available would not be where they are today.
Eileen was a wonderful Lady who will be missed by her family and friends and all who had the privilege of meeting her. We are all indebted to her.
We will be arranging flowers to be sent to Eileen's funeral and representatives of RLS-UK will also be present on behalf of our members and supporters. If you would like to provide a comment to be included in our card, which will be presented to Eileen's family on behalf of all of our members and supporters, please do so below.