29 November 2013

Advent Calendar for ME 2013

With December fast approaching, the ‘Let’s do it for ME!’ team have been busy working away behind the scenes to bring you a little festive magic by creating a fabulous online advent calendar. The idea came about after we were discussing that it would be really nice to do something Christmassy, as well as celebrate the high standard of entries in our recent ‘Let’s Get Snapping for ME’ photo competition. Thanks to Julia Cottam, our advent calendar brings this all together brilliantly!

Every day, between 1st and 25th December, a different photo will feature which will be magically transformed to form part of our advent scene below. We are going to post it on our blog, Facebook page and special Advent Calendar Event page so that as many people as possible can join in the fun. You are more than welcome to download the calendar to your computer or mobile device using it, for instance, as wallpaper (we will be uploading different sizes to cater for different screen sizes), or simply print off a PDF version. You can even just pop by each day to see the latest addition, or follow our blog where it will be delivered directly to you! And don’t forget to share it with friends and family too – the more the merrier.

Finally, because it’s not fair to keep you in suspense any longer, here's a sneaky peek at our fabulous advent scene by Liz Willsher, which will be magically transformed in the run up to Christmas.

With special thanks to Liz for the artwork and to all the entrants of ‘Let’s Get Snapping for ME’.

We hope you enjoy our festive offering. Let’s get Christmassy – let’s do it for ME!

Just a quick reminder, whilst doing your Christmas shopping online you can help raise funds for free for Invest in ME by using cash-back sites and a special Amazon link. You can also win £1000 worth of gifts for yourself and £250 for the charity by entering ‘Give as you Live’s’ competition. For details about the cash-back sites, Amazon link or competition click here.

28 November 2013

Free Listing on eBay!

eBay has a 4-day free listing fee promotion starting today until Sunday

From 28 November until 1 December, things can be listed for free and if they don't sell, the seller will not be charged anything. Good time to list things for sale for our favourite charity, Invest in ME: http://pages.ebay.co.uk/promos/1262/

Invest in ME is set up on eBay as a charity, which means that people can sell their things through their own eBay account and choose to donate between 10% and 100% of the sale price to Invest in ME - eBay does this automatically.  Also, eBay waives their fees for charity sales - in the same proportion as the percentage donated to charity.

This is the link to the items currently being sold by various people with a percentage going to Invest in ME: http://www.ebay.co.uk/.../ebay-for.../charity-profile/...

Don't miss out on the news and offers in our last blog - click here to Shop and Tell  

Thank you for your support - Let's do it for ME! 

23 November 2013

Many Happy Returns Doctor Who!

Today is The Day of The Doctor - 50th anniversary special on BBC1 tonight!
What better way to celebrate the 50th birthday of this world famous series than to download and help spread the word of the companion audio produced by out-of-this-world Big Finish with 100% proceeds to Invest in ME? http://bigfinish.com/releases/v/many-happy-returns-775
100% proceeds to Invest in ME
Its release last year was featured in Doctor Who magazine.  All involved gave their time for free and all proceeds go to Invest in ME.  The initial £4454 raised helped the charity to fully fund the foundation research project at the University of East Anglia which began last month.

Some of the lovely writers, directors and actors involved met our "Let's do it for ME!" Bear. 
Lisa Bowerman and Ayesha Antoine
Scott Handcock
Katy Manning
Paul Cornell
Louise Jameson 
Simon Guerrier
Nicholas Briggs
Read all about it and see photos here: http://ldifme.org/many-happy-returns/ —
The history of Big Finish is told in Justyce Served by Alun Harris and Matt West, who are also generously donating their profits to Invest in ME and Amnesty International.
Authors' profits to Amnesty International and Invest in ME
The authors write:  In 1984 a group of Doctor Who fans began a project which would continue for another decade and eventually lead to much greater things.
Audio Visuals: Audio Adventures in Time & Space were a non-profit, fan endeavour creating full-cast audio Doctor Who drama. 27 plays later the majority of the creative team would go on to be involved with Big Finish, an officially licensed range of Doctor Who audio dramas.
For many fans Audio Visuals  seem almost canon. Nicholas Briggs was our Doctor. We remember the Daleks’ destruction of Gallifrey before it even happened on TV. We supported our Doctor through drug addiction, companion-loss and the horror of Justyce.
This book is a guide to those days. 
With contributions from Nicholas Briggs, Gary Russell, Nigel Fairs, John Ainsworth, Heather Barker, Patricia Merrick, Richard Marson, Jim Mortimore, Andy Lane and no doubt many others between now and September, all wrapped up in a new cover by Tim Keable.
Celebrate Doctor Who fan creativity at its very best.
The first review of the book was courtesy of Starburst Magazine

Huge THANKS to all the above for helping to bring the research and treatment of this disease into the 21st century and giving us realistic hope for the future by supporting Invest in ME.
Let's do it for ME!

21 November 2013

New Festive Friends and 15% Off Accessories

The Let's Do It for ME elves have been working their magic adding new festive items to our Campaign Shop.

Introducing Santa Teddies and our newest and possibly
cuddliest supporter the LDIfME Christmas Moose.

While the elves continue to work their magic items not yet available can as always be purchased
by Designing Your Own in our Designer Shop here.

To spread the festive cheer a little further get 15% off on accessories with discount code: WITHLOVE
Valid until 24/11/2013.

20 November 2013

We’re No.1 in The Independent’s 2013 Best Charity Christmas Cards!

What an endorsement! Our Christmas card of Julie-Ann Gylaitis’ winning photo, from the recent ‘Let’s Get Snapping for ME!’ 2013 competition, pipped Number 1 slot in The Independent newspaper’s IndyBest 10 Best Charity Christmas Cards. Coming in above cards by professional designers, artists and the well-known cartoonist Giles for RNLI! It’s fantastic recognition of ‘Let’s do it for ME!’ team’s hard work running the photo competition and the high standard of entries.
Understandably, the team and HQ (Invest in ME) are ecstatic, as well as Julie-Ann who is completely overwhelmed. We did say our photo competition was a chance to shine, and having this photo take pride of place on a national newspaper’s website certainly does just that!  But there’s more! The newspaper states, "We think this vibrant entry by Julie-Ann Gylaitis is a festive triumph." You can’t get better than that!
Julie-Ann, who was diagnosed with ME 25 years ago after suddenly falling ill, had to give up the job she loved and many other activities. But one thing she can still indulge in is her passion for photography, taking photos when able to. On learning that the card with her photo on was chosen as No. 1 by The Independent, Julie-Ann said, "It’s completely crazy! I’m especially thrilled for our charity. It’s fantastic news!"

HQ also said of our triumph, "This has given everyone a lift at the charity also. A lovely card, well deserved selection by The Independent, and a wonderful comment on the efforts made by all running and participating in the competition. All of the cards are winners and we are very proud to be able to distribute these in the name of the charity whilst raising much-needed awareness of ME. Everyone is a winner."

The ‘Candle House’ card stands as a shining beacon of hope for ME. Powerfully and positively raising awareness beyond the ME community and, at the same time, helping to raise essential funds towards Invest in ME’s biomedical research fund. You can buy it, along with our other cards featuring winners of the ‘Let’s Get Snapping for ME!’ competition, from Invest in ME by clicking here.

Huge congratulations from all the team and HQ to Julie-Ann, and our other entrants and participants in the ‘Let’s Get Snapping for ME!’ competition. We couldn’t have done it without you! So let’s get celebrating, let’s do it for ME!

18 November 2013


From Jane Hurst and Geoff Allen ..

We’re delighted to finally be able to announce the winners of this years Summer Picture Quiz: In joint first place is Sarah Hill and Helen Cramp who shared the first and second prize of £70. Not far behind them were Charlene Clarke and Karen Ellis who came joint 3rd and both won organic chocolatesWELL DONE EVERYONE! Or I should say Well Done Girls, as there was only one male in the top 10! Very very poor chaps! Must do better next year .

Being serious, thanks to everyone who took part in the quiz and also a big Thank You to everyone who made such generous donations. We’re so grateful. The total amount raised for Invest In ME’s Research fund is £830!! And incredibly this has been matched by a hugely generous friend, and donated to Invest In ME’s Rituximab Research appeal. So in total £1660 has been raised for IiME . Thanks to everyone who helped promote the quiz, it’s really appreciated.

For an Answer Sheet, just email Summer-Picture-Quiz@sky.com. Oh and if anyone would still like to make a donation our Justgiving page http://www.justgiving.com/IiME-Summer-Picture-Quiz-2013 will be open for another 2 months. Thanks again and Congratulations to all the winners!

Best Wishes

Jane and Geoff

The team would like to add BIG THANKS also to Jane and Geoff for all the hard work they put in to making such a success of the second year of the Let's do it for ME summer quiz.  The original matching offer by their friend was £750 so it is extra generous of them to match the full £830 raised.  Many thanks and very well done to all involved!! 
Let's do it for ME!

9 November 2013

Happy 22nd Birthday Rosa!

Happy 22nd Birthday Rosa and may all your wishes come true!
Can it really be a year since Rosalind Amor launched her 21st Birthday Appeal?  
With the help of her family, and with support from the staff of the nursing home, where she was being fed by naso-jejunum tube,  Rosa's 21st Birthday Appeal raised a staggering £3881.69 plus £645.75 gift aid.  
This helped to achieve our initial fundraising target of £100,000 to fully fund the foundation research project on gut microbiota in patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis at the University of East Anglia. 
What a difference a year has made thanks to Rosa, her family, supporters, sponsors and all those they represent in our community, who should feel very proud indeed of what has been achieved and continues to be achieved by all the amazing, courageous and determined efforts to make the progress in research and treatment proposed by Invest in ME happen. 
Thankfully, Rosa is doing a little better this birthday and is still an undercover operative in the planning group for Let's do it for ME!  Earlier this year, Rosa posted that she'd had a dream that someone had given her £250,000 for LDIFME.  We have shown that we can make our dreams come true, as we have since received a donation of £25,000 to enable the study on B cells to go ahead at University College London, and a further pledge of £200,000 for the clinical treatment trial of rituximab, bringing the total raised so far since we launched our campaign in July 2011 to a whopping £368,000 and rising!  
Happy Birthday Rosa and may all your hopes and dreams come true! 

9th November 2012

All I want is to be like other 20 year olds; to travel and go to uni; to socialise and be independent; to walk, swim, dance and ride. I've already lost a decade of my life to this wretched illness. Please don't let me lose another.

I've had ME for 12 years. Before that, I was a healthy child. I was always playing; I loved Puppy and Kitty in my pocket sets; I went to ballet and modern dance lessons, swimming, watch club, was learning the violin and was a junior member of the RSPCA.

When I was eight my grandma and hamster died in quick succession, followed by a unknown virus of the gut. I had a terribly high temperature and was sick on everything, even water. Unfortunately, I didn't recover. I was diagnosed with ME quite quickly but sadly, this didn't make my treatment any better. I was admitted to hospital and given physio, then sent home and relapsed terribly.

I don't remember the following year. I know I lived on Complan all that time until we finally persuaded our doctors to give me a tube. I was admitted to hospital again for a few months - a painful experience.

I was paralysed and bed-ridden for 7 years and was tube-fed for 5 and a half. I remained at home, cared for by my parents. My symptoms included; paralysis especially my legs and swallow, hypersensitivity, headaches, muscle pain, 'brain fog', muteness, orthostatic intolerance, insomnia, spasms, severe nausea with a period of vomiting and extreme tiredness.

At 15 my health dramatically improved. I was able to stand and use a wheelchair. Briefly, I was even able to walk independently around the house though still needed a wheelchair outside. I became involved with my local wildlife trusts, visiting their reserves, attending 'wild learning' courses and part of a youth group.

However, from the end of 2009 my health slowly worsened again until last year, when I had a tooth infection and a bad back, I had a major crash. My worst problem this year is vomiting which worsened my tiredness, hypersensitivity, cognitive functioning and insomnia.

I always believed that one day my body would naturally heal itself and I'd return to my previous levels of health. Now I'm less confident of recovering unless someone finds a treatment.

Click here to read more from our 2012 December update on Rosa's Appeal.

This editorial accompanied advertisements placed by Invest in ME.

We reached our initial £100,000 in May 2013.

Our campaign fully funded the foundation research project now underway 
at the University of East Anglia.

Click here to see the current research projects which Invest in ME is funding, is intending to fund or would like to fund.

Click here to read about the 
Invest in ME proposal for a centre of excellence for ME.

Our campaign website - Let's do it for ME!

Thank you for your support.