TWO years ago Shameem Arnold was confined to a wheelchair with the crippling neurological condition ME.

In her darkest hours she thought life as she knew it was over.

Now, she is a successful businesswoman preparing to perform a major role in the Olympics.

The 32-year-old, from Egremont, is one of only a handful of people selected to carry the Olympic torch through Cumbria.

Previously an energetic, healthy graduate with a top job at Sellafield, Shameem was diagnosed with ME in 2008.

The first sign that something was wrong was a chest infection that just wouldn’t shift.

Then the chronic exhaustion synonymous with the condition set in.

Unable to carry out all but the most basic of tasks, she was left virtually housebound.

She was forced to quit her job as a quality engineer and her partner Mat had swapped his role as a husband for life as her carer.

But a monumental effort saw her recover and the couple launched fitness firm Moky Ltd in 2010.

“Mat nominated me for the Olympic role,” said Shammeem, 32.

“He didn’t tell me about it and I was amazed to be picked. It is such an honour. I’m passionate about the Olympics, I think it’s going to be a fantastic occasion for the whole country.

“This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – I don’t think any of us will see the Olympics in Britain again.

“The London Games will be fantastic.

“They will raise morale and most importantly, inspire young people to get involved in sport.

“I know first hand the amazing effect sport and exercise can have on people’s lives.

“I literally couldn’t have believed two years ago that I would be doing this.

“In my darkest moments I really didn’t think I would ever recover.”

Hope for Shameem’s recovery came after she met someone who had suffered ME but recovered.

“That gave me the inspiration I needed to get better,” she added.

“My hope is that other people suffering with ME might see me carrying the Olympic Torch and that could inspire them to get better.

“They haven’t really told me much about it, other than to turn up on June 21.

“I know I will be running somewhere between Carlisle and Windermere.”