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M.E. inspiration on International Women's Day

March 08, 2019

International Women’s Day celebrates women all over the world and the amazing work they have done. Whether they are politicians, doctors, campaigners, carers, friends, or family members, the impact that women have on each of our lives is profound.

We wanted to use today to thank women in the M.E. community who have inspired or enriched the lives of people with M.E. To do this we asked our supporters to nominate the women that inspire them, by email, Twitter and our M.E. Friends Online forum. We received such a huge response that we were unable to include every nomination you can read more on our #InternationalWomensDay2019 Twitter moment.

Action for M.E. President, Clare Francis (pictured), “who has spent over 20 years supporting the M.E. community. Her commitment has enriched the lives of many people with M.E.” – Lucy

Sonya Chowdhury,for her passion and dedication in advocating and supporting people with M.E.” – Holly

“Sonya, Mary-Jane Willows and Clare Ogden! They all do so much for the M.E. community.” – Sue

Emily Beardall, “for her advocacy in the face of poor health.” – Jaci

"Every single mum fighting for their child's health, future and rights.” – Claire.

“Here’s to all the Mums fighting for their kids. Never underestimate the power of an extremely pissed off woman.” – Sarah

"Zoe is studying music at the Royal Conservatoire - she developed M.E. at 16, just as she was preparing for crucial exams. With the support of some of her teachers, and despite M.E. being a 'helter skelter ride' of unexpected loops and turns, she is making her dream a reality and studying to be a music teacher." – Theresa

Carol Monaghan (pictured), “for all she has done to make change in the UK - thank you!” – @loobydotlu;
“I admire the way she is standing up and fighting for us in Parliament.” – Elizabeth

“Carol Monaghan, my mum and my daughter. They all believe. They’re all strong women. They’re doing their best to help.” – Dolores

“So many, doing so many great things! Jessica Taylor-Bearman, Laura Elliott (@TinyWriterLaura), Emma (@Not_Just_Tired) and special mention to Carol Monaghan too.” – Lorna

“Jessica Taylor-Bearman has done so much to raise awareness of very severe M.E. through her writing (The Girl Behind Dark Glasses) and Facebook page (The World of One Room). She speaks up for those too poorly to speak themselves, giving a voice to the voiceless and shines a light on the experiences of those with very severe M.E and the difficulties they face.” – Bambi

Emma (@Not_Just_Tired) (pictured), “for being one of the most supportive person with M.E. on twitter and for maintaining such a positive attitude.” – Sally

Emma "gave me a whole new perspective on how to live life with M.E./CFS." – Hannah; "She constantly impresses me with her ability to look on the bright side while she struggles with the condition and with how it affects her ability to be a wife and mother. Her 'Joy in' series brings some positivity to social media feeds which are often somewhat depressing.” – Alison

Emma Shorter “for leading on the petition to Scottish Parliament.” – Theresa

"Definitely the Countess of Mar! [pictured] She has worked extremely hard to bring the M.E. community together and continues to advocate for change." – Sam

“Caroline Kingdon and the Countess of Mar. Both wonderful! - @me_awareness

Janet Dafoe, “for dedicating her life to helping cure M.E. Her endless compassion is unrivalled." – Amy

“I nominate Dr Reinhold for being very knowledgeable and advocating for us.” – Clare

The women of the M.E. Friends Online forum: “When I’m alone - no mother or sister to phone, when in need - the first place I turn to is the forum, full of wonderful women who support me. These women have got me through some real tough times on my path. Equally I am inspired by their characters and how they offer support and kindness on this forum despite all they endure." – Fairycats

"My daughter, Sue, is the woman who has inspired me and supported me through the worst that this illness has thrown at me. She is always there for me. She has been so patient and wise. She is my rock.” – Butterfly

Dr Nina Muirhead (pictured left); “As a medical professional with M.E. herself, she is raising awareness of the illness and promoting need for education of healthcare practitioners. She has greatly inspired me.” – Elmo13

"Sally Burch’s blogs about living with M.E. and pacing, including using heart rate monitoring are really great because they’re short easy to read. I’ve found her blogs really helped me understand energy limitations of M.E.” – Nellicent

"I’d like to nominate my friend Zoe whose husband has M.E. They have young children and her journey in supporting her husband has been difficult but she makes little steps to manage and is always incredibly positive." – Larissa

Ruth Lampard, “for a nice peaceful twitter feed, how to live with illness with grace and stay interested in the world inspiring.” – Claire

Laura Price “is a huge inspiration to our family. She achieved her doctorate whilst ill with M.E. and is my daughter’s home tutor. Gives tremendous hope that you can live with and have a huge positive impact on others whilst having M.E.” – Karen

Jen Brea (pictured), “for allowing me to open a dialogue about my life with my friends and family through Unrest. There aren't enough words to thank her for helping rebuild relationships I thought were damaged forever.” – Nikki

“For Unrest, which has brought international understanding and attention to this illness. Jen has done such amazing things while suffering herself. – Butterfly

“Therapist Gail Sumner has done so much for people with M.E. in our area to help alleviate symptoms, and much much more.” – Ruth

Anna (@theslowlane_ME), “for all her Blue Sunday fundraising efforts!” – Pippa

“I am inspired and impressed by Sarah Reed. And grateful for all the hard work she does for people with M.E.” – Sarah

Charlotte Stephens, “who puts research papers into writings we can all understand giving hope to all sufferers. She is my personal inspiration as I see day to day her real struggle with M.E. but maintains the faith that there will be one day a breakthrough.” – Nadine

Joan McParland, Founder of Hope 4 ME and Fibromyalgia in Northern Ireland, “she inspires and helps so many.” – Snowbelle

“My dear friend @ikbenbianca. She is always here for me, even when she is not well herself, and I love her so much.” – Petra

“My friends Mel, Deb, Maggie and Pam, they are a real support to me. They are always there on bad days, they help and just listen.” – JoJo

Carol Binks, “for her work with Sheffield ME and Fibromyalgia Group and awareness raising.” – Laura

Grace Quantock “has inspired me to find meaning and joy in life. She has written about how to find fulfilment and freedom when housebound or bedbound." – Snowbelle

Jo Best, “co-founder of Lets Do It 4 ME campaign. I have seen her persevere quietly and effectively for so many years.” – @healingCFSME

“I am trying to help raise awareness through my novels. I have M.E. myself (25 years) lost home, independence and get no financial support. We need to be seen.” – KT King

Eileen Holderman and Gabby Klein for their advocacy, strength and clarity. AliceOutThere and Anna Guiseppa for their forthrightness.” – Marilyn

Thank you to everyone who shared their inspiring stories and nominations.