March 07, 2016
Action for M.E. supporter Marianne Gutierrez has been selected to take part in a new charity event that aims to promote social inclusion and challenge stereotypes surrounding people who are socially excluded.
Marianne is one of nine people who have overcome difficulties to be selected for Beauty Unseen, a live beauty show that will be held in Bristol in October 2016.
Each of these nine people will be linked to an existing UK charity relevant to their life experiences and Marianne, who wants to change perceptions of M.E. and encourage people living with the illness to trust their instincts when it comes to recovery, has chosen Action for M.E. as her charity.
Marianne was diagnosed with M.E. in 2003, and spent the first five years of her illness severely affected. “I had recently got married and our relationship became one of patient/carer,” she recalls. “My family didn’t understand and thought if I was allowed to rest I would be fine later. I was earning very well, supporting myself and paying a mortgage, but I had to give it all up. It was devastating.”
Over time, Marianne’s symptoms have improved considerably, and she is now able to work and socialise again. She says: “I was referred to a specialist NHS service to help me cope with the illness. I listened to my instinct about what worked and what didn’t, and it was so helpful to meet, through Action for M.E., other people feeling the same way as me.”
Marianne and the other eight participants will be given star treatment and up-and-coming designers will be designing a fashion piece for each of them to model at the live show, including Vivienne Westwood.
The event will also feature live music, contemporary dance, and a chance to hear first-hand the real-life stories of Marianne and the other eight participants.