Jennie Jacques

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

Jennie Jacques is an English actress who developed myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome after contacting Epstein-Barr virus in 2019.[1][2] Jacques is best known for playing the role of Judith in the TV series Vikings.[1][3]

ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

In 2019, Jennie Jacques was an fitness enthusiastic and competed in many grueling charity races and fitness events, in additional to her career as an accomplished actress, when she caught Epstein-Barr virus, which lead to her developing ME/CFS.[4] Jacques was hospitalized twice with severe Epstein-Barr virus and associated viral hepatitis, which led to her developing M.E. Jacques became housebound with severely ill with M.E. at one point, but has since improved.[4] In 2020, she wrote about using activity pacing with a heart rate monitor to help manage her symptoms.[5]

The first and the second year, for me, were the worst and I'm lucky to have seen some improvement in my third year. But my life is still limited and I am a shadow of my former self physically. There have been times when I couldn't even get outside in a wheelchair or to my front doorstep. Any exertion or 'efforts' to get well only pulled me backwards. Whether it's mild, moderate or severe, ME has the ability to turn a person's life upside down.[4] — Jennie Jacques, The Times, 2021
I miss exercise so much. And I really miss the swimming pool. But at the moment my 'energy envelope' simply does not allow for it without serious repercussions."[4] — Jennie Jacques, The Times, 2021

Jacques experiences "post-exertional malaise" — a flare-up of pain, flu-like symptoms and exhaustion — after even minimal activity. It's a telltale symptom of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), the debilitating condition that leaves patients profoundly fatigued and experiencing pain, dizziness, stomach problems and brain fog.[4]

Charity work[edit | edit source]

Jacques, who has a younger sister who lives with seizures, has a long history of fundraising and advocacy for epilepsy charities.[4][6][7] In 2020, she became an ambassador for the ME/CFS charities Open Medicine Foundation and Action for ME.[1][8]

Talks and interviews[edit | edit source]

Articles and blog posts[edit | edit source]

Online presence[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Actress Jennie Jacques Becomes OMF's Newest Ambassador". Open Medicine Foundation. May 13, 2020.
  2. "Jennie Jacques: Movies, TV, and Bio". Amazon UK. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  3. Mitchell, Molli (October 13, 2020). "Vikings cast: Who did Jennie Jacques play in Vikings?". Daily Express. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 O'Neill, Sean (August 18, 2021). "Jennie Jacques on living with ME: 'I am a shadow of my former self physically'". The Times. The Times. Retrieved January 1, 2022 – via Open Medicine Foundation.
  5. Jacques, Jennie (August 7, 2020). "Purely Pacing".
  6. Gawne, Jackie. "Jennie Jacques - actress | Celebrity ambassadors and supporters | Who we are | About Us". Young Epilepsy. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  7. "Viking actress Jennie Jacques discusses the impact of epilepsy". Epilepsy Society. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  8. Action for ME (November 30, 2021). "Our new ambassador - Jennie Jacques". Action for ME. Retrieved January 1, 2022.