Margaret of Mar is the 31st Countess of Mar, our oldest peerage, and has been a member of the House of Lords since 1975. When the House of Lords act was passed in 1999 to restrict the number of hereditary peers, Lady Mar was elected to the new House receiving the highest number of votes in support.
She has been one of the most active members of the House of Lords and in addition to her political work has been Chairman, President and Patron of many groups including Gulf Veterans Association, Environmental Medicine Foundation, Elderly Accommodation Council and founder of Forward-ME which works with many charities related to chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis, ME.
Her extensive work related to organophosphates contributed to most of these chemicals being banned in the UK, and this work has expanded to bring attention to the risks to airline staff from aircraft engine fumes
A huge effort with many difficulties has been associated with her work in support of patients with a diagnosis of ME/CFS. It had been a battle to expose the failure of the mainline treatments used by the NHS for these conditions such as talking therapy and exercise regimes. In addition, Lady Mar has taken on a major roll supporting patients with the often devastating tick-borne illnesses. This has involved direct work supporting, and as advocate for patients, leading to extensive work with the Health Protection Agency (now Public Health England) and the Department of Health.
After raising many patient issues in the House of Lords she engaged directly with these organisations starting in 2012 resulting in specific action plans in support of patient needs, and was instrumental in creating the 1st Public Health England Lyme Conference held in 2013, where Lyme experts from many disciplines and representatives of the medical profession, government health agencies and patients shared knowledge.
The stalwart support and attendance from Lady Mar to all our symposiums has meant a strength unequaled. With grateful thanks, we now wish her a well deserved, restful, enjoyable, fulfilled, and healthy retirement spent with her husband and family.