Who’d have thought that this perpetual motion machine who lived for dance would one day have to rein things back so much that every dance now has to be planned out well in advance?
But that’s what happened to dancer, choreographer and flashmob creator Amber Forman shortly after giving birth to her beautiful daughter, Ava.
“My ME story begins just three months after having Ava”, says 27-year-old Amber, a teacher at a dance school in Bedfordshire who are putting on a big ‘Go Blue for ME’ event for us during ME Awareness Week.
“I was rushed back into hospital with sepsis feeling really unwell, and not knowing what was going on. From that day, I’ve never been the same since.
“I was diagnosed with loads of things – over-active thyroid, anaemia, infections by the bucketful – everything the docs could think of. Four long years later of feeling like I was making it all up, at the end of January this year I eventually received my ME diagnosis.”
It's not the life she knew, but it’s now the life she loves – even though she has to limit her working hours to about 18 a week.
“I get bad days now, of course, but I have people in a really good support system who try to understand how I’m feeling. I moved from jobs that I didn’t enjoy to one in this sector which really suits me.”
The Inspire Performing Arts School in Kempston, near Bedford – one of the biggest in the area – are backing their new teacher and class manager with a performance of their own from 9th to 12th May.
Students are being asked to wear something blue to class, make a small donation to the ME Association and buy tickets in a big raffle. The school has even set up its own online fundraising page at https://www.justgiving.com/page/inspirepaforamber
Amber started dancing at age if six, competed nationally in disco, freestyle and rock n’roll before graduating with a BA in Dance Performance at Buckinghamshire New University. She danced in front of the late Queen at Westminster Abbey and has contributed to the cultural zeitgeist by creating flash mobs all round the country.
“I love being able to do all this but I do struggle with the days that follow the crazy days. With a four-year-old to look after, my days are never all that quiet but I couldn’t do it without all the help and support I receive from folks at home and from Rosie, my boss, and everyone else at Inspire Performing Arts.”
If you’d like to donate to Amber’s fundraiser, please visit:
Scenes from her life: from the left, Amber with some of her students, giving it her all in a big show; and with her daughter Ava.
For people with ME/CFS who are thinking about taking on a physical fundraising challenge, or if you are organising an event that might involve people with ME/CFS, please read this notice from Neil Riley, Chairman of the ME Association.