Cupar woman writes fairytale to raise ME awareness

From the Fife Herald, 5 November 2009 (Story by Stuart Gillespie)

A CUPAR woman has written a fairytale to help publicise a national campaign. Andrea Mardon penned ‘The Princess and the Ogre’ to encourage donations to the ‘Just Four Quid’ appeal in aid of biomedical research into ME, or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Andrea (52) has suffered from ME for 19 years and hopes her tale will raise awareness of the condition and the campaign.

In the story, a beautiful princess is imprisoned by an ogre called Monstrous Eddie — or ME for short.

According to Andrea, who is a member of ME Support North East Fife, this is an allegory that will be familiar to the quarter of a million people who live with the illness across the UK.

She said: “ME is a very misunderstood condition, both among the public and doctors.

“Many people think it just makes you a bit tired, but it can destroy your life.

“The main effect is crippling physical and mental fatigue, but it’s also very painful — every muscle and joint in the body aches.

“There can be neurological problems too, such as short-term memory loss and concentration issues.”

It’s not all doom and gloom though – Andrea’s fairytale ends with the princess determined to escape her imprisonment, with the help of the ‘Just Four Quid’ scheme.

The idea behind the campaign is that an online blog will offer readers a range of money-saving tips.

It is hoped that if people have success with these tips they will consider donating part of their saving to one of the two charities taking part — ME Research UK and the ME Association’s Ramsay Research Fund.

Although everyone is encouraged to visit the site and donate, the appeal’s name stems from the premise that if the UK’s estimated 250,000 ME sufferers gave £4 each, the overall target of £1 million would be achieved.

To read Andrea’s fairytale, visit her personal homepage.

The money-saving blog can be found at www.justfourquid.com

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