My name is Lee Stammers, a-soon-to-be 40-year-old with M.E. I’m going BLUE for the whole of February (FeBLUEary) to raise awareness about the reality and seriousness of this cruel illness.
I have had M.E. for 20 years after becoming ill during my first degree.
I just couldn’t do the things I was used to enjoy doing – like sport and socialising.
I have never been able to sustain working full time and 3 years ago, I had to give up working altogether in the hope of re-establishing my health and getting some normality back into my life.
I hate this condition: I have lost jobs, friends, relationships and aspirations to it.
But it has also given me opportunities, especially in my watercolour painting.
It has built my character and made me appreciate the things I can still do, even for just short periods. And I am lucky to have friends that really care and support me.
Many of us with M.E. are (were) energetic creatures. So, we feel trapped most of the time and this leads to frustration.
We have all had to sacrifice a great deal, but for me, painting and expressing myself in other ways has given me an outlet. I use my art to create and express all that I feel and to show people what having M.E. is like.
I think it is very important to educate people about M.E. That’s why I have decided to go blue this month, in what I like to call Feb'BLUE'ary.
I will be posting something about M.E. to my Facebook page everyday this month.
I hope to increase awareness, dispel myths and reinforce the reality and seriousness of M.E. for those living with the condition.
ME Association fundraising manager, Helen Hyland, said,
“We’re so grateful to Lee for all he does to help raise much needed funds and awareness of M.E.
“We’ve previously seen him cut his hair like Mr T from the A-Team; his beautiful paintings; and his M.E. themed tattoo… It's inspiring to see how creative talents can be harnessed to tell this story.
“Thank you, Lee, for all you are doing for M.E. and for the ME Association.”
If you would like to support Lee in his BLUE crusade, or learn more about what he is doing, please visit his JustGiving page. Or you might like to follow his daily posts on Facebook throughout the month of FeBLUEary.
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ME Association Registered Charity Number 801279