6 October 2011

Joyce's 50th Birthday Gift for ME!

 Joyce says ..

"I hit my half century this October 7th! The big 5-0!

Scented hankies? Bubble bath? Not this time please! Here's why: I'm celebrating my big milestone birthday by asking people to donate whatever they're able to 'Invest in ME', an independent UK charity raising funds for real bio-medical research into this devastating illness.

M.E. has robbed me of huge chunks of my life. M.E. affects the lives of 250,000 others in the UK alone. 'Invest in ME' hopes to open a UK Biomedical Research and Examination Centre for M.E. in Norwich, UK.

This will mean hope for effective treatment and an eventual cure for this disease. This is my dream and my prayer for all my fellow sufferers.

I was diagnosed with M.E. in 2006 after becoming very ill after the flu jab the previous year. Since becoming severely ill with giardiasis while working in Bolivia in the early 90s, I'd been ill in a 'boom and bust' pattern for more than a decade. I always tried to push myself beyond my limits working as a Methodist Minister. I'd wrongly put my exhaustion, pain and sickness down to my type 1 diabetes, constant viral infections and three bouts of shingles!

My collapse on 24th October 2005, on my way to lead family worship at one church where I was minister, finally convinced doctors that something much more serious was happening in my body. Over 6 months later after endless tests, M.E. was diagnosed: basically, a chronic neurological and immune illness that is relapsing-remitting like MS. After nearly four decades as an internationally recognized and categorized disabling neurological disorder, ME/CFS is still one of the most underfunded, maligned, miscategorized life-altering illnesses of our time.

I was largely bedbound at that time and now still housebound at times. I'm thankful that I have "better" days along with the really bad days now. Strict pacing of energy can help, sometimes, but not cure. M.E. means my body can't recharge its batteries after the least effort of muscles or concentration. This leads to disabling symptoms that make it terribly difficult to function a lot of the time. Made worse by my dodgy immune system imploding at any passing virus that shows its face!

But M.E. can never destroy my wacky sense of humour! It can't have who I am inside! I've so very much to be thankful for, to laugh about and to share. Can we make the big £5-0-0 to celebrate my big 5-0? Let's do it for ME!

Thanks so much to all my lovely friends, family, followers and well-wishers everywhere! I love you! XXX

Happy 50th Birthday Joyce!  Many thanks for your wonderful birthday gift and to all those who are so generously helping you to celebrate in style!

Joyce also has a blog and you can follow her on Twitter - for links and to help Joyce achieve her birthday wish, see her fundraising page here on Everyclick.


*The Let's do it for ME! awareness and fund-raising campaign is run by ME sufferers in close cooperation with the charity Invest in ME. Your donations go directly to Invest in ME towards the UK Centre. See this campaign highlighted on the Invest in ME website here.