Welcome to the start of another year of monthly updates. We hope you enjoy following along and seeing first hand how your kind support makes Smile For ME what it is. We know this is a tough time for a lot of people and we hope you and your loved ones are staying safe. Sending a big virtual hug your way.
12 Smiles were sent to both ME sufferers and carers of all ages this month. The items included in our Smiles change all the time as we personalise them to each person’s likes and interests. Some of the items included this month were blankets, fluffy socks, pamper products, bracelet making set, colouring books, heatable cuddly toy, sweets and chocolates.
A special thank you to Naomi who recorded her reaction when opening her Smile. Check it out below on her YouTube channel.
Smile of the month
Each month we ask on social media what has made you smile this month? We love hearing the responses and hope by sharing some of your smiles it can help others to find a smile too.
What’s made you smile this month?
Share a story
Share a story is a segment in our monthly newsletters where we share a story from an ME sufferer or carer about an experience of living with ME to remind others they are not alone. If you would like to be featured in an upcoming month please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All stories shared as part of ‘Share a story’ are personal to the writer and express their individual views and experiences and do not necessarily reflect the views of Smile For ME.
This month’s share a story is by Daisy Hannah. Thank you Daisy for sharing your experience of ME…
Like many people, the coronavirus pandemic has affected a lot of my daily life. In March I was about to start a new job and was going through Graded Exercise Therapy (GET). As I’m writing this now, that feels like a lifetime ago.
Being chronically unwell and undiagnosed for 5 years is one of the hardest battles I thought I’d ever face. In May (2020) I got diagnosed with M.E. and a lot has changed since then.
Getting a diagnosis of M.E. or any Chronic illness isn’t easy but one of the hardest things to face is what comes next. M.E. is such a complex and misunderstood, multisystem disease, that even getting a diagnosis comes with attitudes, stigma and well, no treatments. It can feel as though you’ve just somehow been made more invisible than you already felt when undiagnosed.
It took me a while to realise that M.E. is just as valid as any other condition or disease, either because of imposter syndrome (self-doubt) or because finding the answers and studies are hard for anyone, even without Brain Fog! (cognitive difficulties). Accepting that you have a chronic and possibly life-long condition that a lot of doctors don’t understand, is a learning curve. I found my acceptance through the Chronic Illness Community and found my purpose through my voice and creating resources to support others.
Everyone finds acceptance differently and it will always be a battle but please remember;
We are invisible not because of our conditions but because people refuse to see us,
We are voiceless not because we don’t have voices but because people refuse to hear us,
We are alone not because we are housebound or bedbound but because people refuse to understand us.
Acceptance and all stages of living with M.E. is a learning curve and there is no right or wrong way to manage or cope with M.E. before or after diagnosis.
Lots of Love & spoons
Daisy Hannah @daisy.hannah.dunne
We understand the situation for everyone is very difficult at the moment which will affect fundraising plans. However if you or someone you know is planning on doing some fundraising this year we would be really grateful for your support. We are registered with Virgin Money Giving where you can set up a fundraising page making it easy for online donations.
We are also registered with Facebook fundraising where you can select Smile For ME as your chosen charity for your Birthday fundraisers or create a fundraising page for any event.
If you are interested you can check out our ‘Support us‘ page for more information.
A big thank you to Lauren from Wrapsie Woo who is currently fundraising for us. She raised an amazing £152.50 last year through the sales of her blue wrist wraps. She is kindly continuing to support us by selling the blue wrist wraps and has now also created a new blue keyring design. This special ME blue keyring costs £4.50 with £1.50 going to us. If you would like to support Smile For ME through Wrapsie Woo check out her Facebook group.
A special thank you to those who donated to us this month. We are really grateful for your generous donations. It’s thanks to you and your kindness we can continue sending Smiles to deserving ME sufferers and carers. Thank you Pauline, Dionne, Debbie, Louise, David and the Hamilton’s.
A special thank you to Steve who supported us since the beginning with his very generous donations.