1 September 2014

From ME to You, With Love - new website launched!

It's September already?!? Where did that go?

It hardly seems a year ago now that I started the 'Letters for Louise' project. Never in a million years did I imagine that the whole thing would be so successful or that I'd meet so many amazing people.

Since the book 'From ME to You, With Love' launched in May, it has done incredibly well. Almost 250 copies have been sold, and the amount of money that I have been able to donate to Invest in ME is now over £150 and once I've donated royalties from the last couple of months and cash sales, we're looking at around £300 so far. A massive thank you to everyone who has bought the book, either in paperback or for the Kindle.

Awareness and feedback of the book has gone from strength to strength, and I'm now delighted to be able to tell you about the launch of the book's official website - www.frommetoyouwithlove.co.uk. The website was created to give more information about the book, my story and how the book was created, as well as letting people know about Invest in ME and Let's do it for ME! And, most importantly, there are links to buy the book all using easyfundraising to raise more funds for Invest in ME.

I've also been really lucky to have the book featured in the local media, both in my hometown of Taunton and Northampton, where I now live. The purpose of this hasn't just been to promote the book, but also raise awareness of ME in general and talk about the great things that Invest in ME are doing for ME sufferers. It's been a little bit surreal but all very exciting - you can listen and see everything that has been happening on the new website.

If you haven't heard of the book before or the 'Letters for Louise' project, let me introduce you to what it's all about. Going back to 2013, I was talking to a friend about how sometimes it can be worse battling people's attitudes towards ME and the disbelief we are all too familiar with than the actual symptoms themselves. I said to her that if only there was something out there that had loads of people's experiences together - the views of sufferers themselves rather than doctors - it would be brilliant to give to people who might not understand. I then had the idea of putting together a collection of letters written by ME sufferers, to produce a resource that could be given to anyone who needed a bit of 'help', shall we say, in understanding what we go through. From that, I had the idea of turning this into a proper, published book (which seemed like a crazy idea at the time as I had no idea how to go about it!) with all the profits going to Invest in ME. That's when the 'Letters for Louise' project began.

Everyone who contributed sent something incredibly heartfelt, honest, and above all, unique. It was an amazing thing to be part of and I will always be very grateful to my new friends for their honesty and bravery in helping me make the book happen. Since the book was published in May, I've had nothing but extremely positive feedback and I think the success of it all is credit to all of the amazing people who took the time and effort to write a letter - especially considering that some of them are extremely ill.

I've got lots planned for where I'm going to take the book next. Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire, has raised the issue with Jeremy Hunt and hopefully, that might prompt some action in the health sector. I'm hoping that the book can continue to be used as a tool for doctors, nurses and other health professionals to realise that this is an illness that needs to be taken seriously - and I hope that at least some of them will treat their patients with more respect and dignity as a result. I'm also trying to think of ways to get a few well known names behind the book, so that they can help raise more awareness and more money for Invest in ME. I think it's a case of watch this space!

But for now, thanks for reading - and I hope you find the website useful!

Louise x