Tony Britton, PR and Fundraising Manager, ME Association.
A Nottinghamshire woman hopes this week to break into the world of best-selling music albums – after spending two years working on the recording while she was bedbound.
With the help of a backing crew of professional musicians and music producers who were all out of work because of Covid, Kara Jane Spencer is launching her first-ever album to help fund medical research into M.E., the illness she suffers from.
The nine-track album “It’s Still M.E.” can be bought from Saturday (8th August) from all major music platforms. It will be our curtain-raiser for the annual Severe M.E. Week.
While waiting for the album, supporters can download Kara’s STUNNING new single, ‘Baby Breathe’, which is out now!
Kara hopes to raise £100,000 for the ME Association's Tissue Bank Appeal so please donate whatever you can afford to help make this dream a possibility…
You can download the single, Baby Breathe, here:
Kara, who lives in Mansfield, has already been warned by doctors that her condition may shorten her life.
The singer-songwriter was diagnosed with M.E., also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, 13 years ago after suddenly losing her ability to walk.
“Until then, I was healthy and active – “loud, crazy and always laughing” in the words of my sister. My condition steadily deteriorated, until seven years ago I became completely bedridden.”
Kara, who is now 29, needs round-the-clock nursing care at home and survives on supplemental oxygen.
Yet, despite living with an extreme form of the illness, she’s been writing songs for as long as she can remember, and a few years ago began recording vocals from her bed.
But the build-up to this charity album is like nothing else she has ever experienced.
Offers to help make the album flooded in from the music industry after she put out an appeal on the BBC News website.
The appeal reached the ears of 27-year-old Cornwall-based record producer Liam Hicks who told us:
“Actually, it couldn’t have come at a better time. There were so many live session musicians and sound engineers out of work due to coronavirus, me included, so we had lots of offers. We ended up with about 27 different musicians taking part.”
Co-producer Jim Molyneux tweeted:
Kara lives with an extreme form of M.E. which has a wide range of symptoms that fluctuate from hour to hour. Nowadays, she is unable to sing a whole song all at once.
“Kara is unable to sing more than a line or two at once and, with hospital admissions adding further delays, this was a process that has taken nearly two years,” said a friend, Naomi Whittingham, who is an advocate for people with severe M.E.
“Her dream was to produce an album of her own songs while it is still possible. Kara is a gifted singer and songwriter. The themes of loss, pain and fragile hope in her songs will resonate with many, particularly in these difficult times.”Naomi Whittingham
The album – ‘It’s Still M.E.’ by Kara Jane, her singing name – will be available to buy from Saturday (8th August) from all major music platforms.
For many people with M.E., life with the disease is restricted, painful and unpleasant.
Additionally, they suffer the stigma of it not being properly understood by many relatives, friends or even some in the medical profession.
Yet, through no fault of their own, many children with M.E. miss years at school and it can be very difficult holding down a job while coping with the ravages of the illness.
In seven out of 10 cases, the illness can be tracked back to a viral infection from which sufferers never really recovered.
There are an estimated 265,000 children and adults who have M.E. in the UK – one in four of whom are so ill they have difficulty getting out of the house or are bedbound.
Kara says this album is dedicated to everyone with Severe M.E.
“As people with M.E., we hear so many lies about our condition that love, loss and anger come across as the three central elements of my music. There’s a lot of anger among patients out there which I try to capture,
“All we’re asking is for a little bit of justice and consolation for ourselves and a level playing-field with other similar conditions.
“If I can pull this off, this would be my life’s accomplishment. Above all else, I would dearly love to leave a functioning post-mortem tissue bank as my legacy.”Kara Jane Spencer
Tony Britton, PR and Fundraising Manager with the ME Association, said:
“We’d like to thank everybody who put their hearts and souls into getting this album and the single out for no payment whatsoever – it was a real labour of love. Especially, huge thanks to Kara who is helping drive our funding of biomedical research into this horrific and much under-rated disease to the next level.
“If anybody with M.E, wants to find out more about how they can donate tissue to medical research after death, please get in touch.”
- For more information about Kara’s music and where to find it, you can visit her website.
- To make a donation to the £100,000 appeal for the M.E. Post-Mortem Tissue Bank, visit Kara's JustGiving page.
The ME Association
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