Tuesday, 26 May 2015

A royal day!

Copyright: Sian Wootton

The above photo look familiar? Yes that's me as me. Recreating the inspired drawing Princess Charlotte (the first one not the new baby one) drew of me. May 12th seems so long ago now and yet I am only just getting round to blogging about the big day. In case you are in need of some context and wondering why on earth I have a helmet on my head and I'm holding a spoon, May 12th is M.E awareness day and myself and a group of other sufferers all dress up (as much as we can) as Princesses all in the name of raising awareness and for charity. The event is called The Princesses and M.E a play on The Princess and the pea story about a Princess that could not . As a collective we are known as Team Princess. You can read more in my blog post. 

Copyright: Sian Wootton
Feeling Victorious
 

This year Team Princess were able to raise money for every single registered M.E charity within the UK and one in Australia, which to me is an incredible achievement. Our current total is £5858.24 a fantastic sum that will really have a positive impact on the services that the charities are able to offer for sufferers and their families such as helplines, forums, legal advise, leaflets and brochures. As well as helping to fund biomedical research into the illness. Slowly the tide is turning in the M.E world. More research and trials are being done to find definitive answers as to what M.E is. Due to this research one thing is clear, we have more proof than ever that M.E is a physical and neurological illness. Too long has it been wrongfully labelled psychological and not gained the respect it deserves. And it is with due credit to the charities that these studies can be afforded. 

Copyright: Sian Wootton
Queen of Dragons

Of course raising money is not the sole purpose of this event, our biggest goal is to raise awareness. Within the M.E community we all know too well the injustices this illness has faced and are all too aware that the impact of them mean those outside of the community either don't know about the illness at all or if they do then the chances are they believe the misrepresentation that M.E is just tiredness and not at all serious or deserving of charity. Every time I write a sentence like that an image of me wanting to slap Ricky Gervais comes into my head. I wonder why? ;-) Therefore it's really important that we share the truth. Share our stories. Educate others about the true nature of this illness and the lives it's tearing apart. We deserve to be respected! We deserve hope! And awareness is the key to achieving this. I'd like to believe that the more this illness is shouted about that as a result we will get better funding, an allocated budget of its own to fund treatments and research. Did you see the recent march on the Whitehouse calling for more funding? That day I felt hopeful.

Below are photos of all the members that were well enough to get dressed up on the day (or during awareness week) and share their stories in the hope of one day getting that fairy tale in the form of an effective treatment or a cure.

Copyright: Alison West
Ali as Princess Anna

Copyright: Lisa Bennet
Lisa another Princess Anna
Copyright: Charlotte Green
Charlotte as Shera The Princess of Power
Copyright: Jenny Horner
Jenny as Sleeping Beauty with her faithful guard dog
 
Copyright: Sally Leadbeater
Sally in Sleeping Beauty mode
Copyright: Anna Jones
Our Queen of Cake

Copyright: Clare Wood
Clare representing Invest in ME, so impressed she made her own crown
Copyright: Emma Anderson
Modern day Cinderella
Copyright: Sarah Mill
Looking lovely
Copyright: Jenny Billings
When you are a Princess for the day, wear all the jewellery!
 

Copyright: Jo Hardstaff
Pyjama Princess!
Copyright: Laurna Thomson
Our Ice Princess
Copyright: H Grungy Parrot
Last minute princess
Copyright: Jane Shadow
Jane and her daughter had a special photoshoot

We were also suppported by mini Princesses who wanted to join in the fun.

Copyright: Katie Anscombe
Princess Sophie
Copyright: Jane Shaw
Princess Emily and all her fiends
Copyright: Alison West
Costume change for Alison into Princess Elsa with her mini Princess as Anna
Copyright: Sian Wootton
The Princess and the Frog
Oh and one Frog Prince! 

As well as some real life furry mascots that got roped in whether they liked it or not.

Copyright: Helen McKaye
Princess Lucy
 
Copyright: Jac Oliver
Princess Poppy
There is a pooch under that tshirt

Copyright: Michael Dickinson
 
Copyright: Michael Dickinson

This years event was also tinged with sadness as we remembered a dear friend who sadly passed away last year. Allan wowed us all when he dressed up as a Princess for last years event. It always make me smile when I think of him going to h&m to buy tights that matched his dress. In honour of Allan we all wore something pink to ensure that he was still a part of our team. We were also blessed to have Allan's son Michael and grandaughter Milla (pictured above) join in the fun this year to raise money in Allan's memory.

Copyright: Jac Oliver
Princesses light up the night
Princess Jac our Aussie Princess took awareness to a whole new level when she campaigned to get the Adelaide oval lit up blue for M.E awareness. What an incredible achievement.

It's been great to get feedback from our auction too. To hear stories of items being given as gifts. One of our sweet hampers was donated to a special needs school to be used as a raffle prize at their Summer Fair. I think the number of raffle tickets has increased thanks to all the children seeing the hamper in the office and getting very excited. Thank you to Geoff Allen our resident Prince Charming and Aly Bentham our Fairy Sweetmother for making this possibe. 

I really could not be more proud of everything we achieved as a team. This group of people and the majority of the M.E community as a whole are the reason I feel more hopeful each day that change is coming. It's hard that so much of the campaigning is patient lead, because of course exertion makes us so unwell. But at the same time it brings out that inner strength, fight and determination, that is so powerful. We will be heard!

I'm so excited already for next year and all ready planning ahead. 

Queenie X

(Oh no this will be my last blog post signing off as Queenie until next year. I'll still wear my crown most days though. As should you.)

6 comments:

  1. It's such a great thing you've all done for ME. It is horrible to have people telling you you're causing an illness that leaves you do debilitated. No one would wish for it. The more events like this, the more people will know about ME & hopefully seek & receive the help they need. Beautiful photos of you all! Xx

    Tania | whentaniatalks.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I don't think anyone could even be imaginative enough to wish it upon themselves. You certainly would never think of some of the symptoms, until you've experienced them. The worst of course being the more you try to have a life the more it will bite back. Who needs side effects from medication when you can get them from life. I think awareness week really did make an impact. I at least feel more hopeful. Thank you for your support as ever Tania. Xx

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    2. I don't think anyone could even be imaginative enough to wish it upon themselves. You certainly would never think of some of the symptoms, until you've experienced them. The worst of course being the more you try to have a life the more it will bite back. Who needs side effects from medication when you can get them from life. I think awareness week really did make an impact. I at least feel more hopeful. Thank you for your support as ever Tania. Xx

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  2. You all look great! I'm yet to get an 'official' diagnosis though I've been told I have Chronic Fatigue syndrome, and am learning and struggling a lot with what to do and to deal with this whole heap of crap and nonsense! Just started my own blog after reading so many interesting and amazing M.E blogs out there! Thank you so much for this blog!

    Amy :) http://alianoutbody.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Amy. Getting a diagnosis can be a long trek for some people. I was lucky in that way. There is a great M.E blogging community and social media presence. I'm glad you have found them. They are a great source of info and support. I wish I'd have known about them earlier. If you want some suggestions let me know. I will certainly check out your blog. If you want to follow me on Twitter or instagram then check out @sianwootton for both. Hope you find lots of people to help you through this.

      Are you the Amy that has joined the book club?

      Sian x

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    2. Thank you Amy. Getting a diagnosis can be a long trek for some people. I was lucky in that way. There is a great M.E blogging community and social media presence. I'm glad you have found them. They are a great source of info and support. I wish I'd have known about them earlier. If you want some suggestions let me know. I will certainly check out your blog. If you want to follow me on Twitter or instagram then check out @sianwootton for both. Hope you find lots of people to help you through this.

      Are you the Amy that has joined the book club?

      Sian x

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