Before developing M.E., Laura Mathews was at university studying biochemistry. In March she decided, for the first time in her life, to get her hair cut to raise money for research into a condition that has left her almost completely bedbound.
Sadly Laura’s symptoms have become worse in the last few months but her mother Kim got in touch to tell her story on her behalf.
The first cut is the deepest
“Well the first cut is the deepest, as they say about love!” Kim says about Laura’s change in look.
In 25 years Laura had never had her hair cut. The “great swathes” of hair that fell to the floor after being cut were sent to wig makers and the money raised was donated to Action for M.E.
The cut had to be done over two weeks to allow Laura time to rest, Kim explains. “It was difficult for her to sit still in a chair with little back support for very long. The hairdresser came and did a quick cut then came back the following week to tidy it up.”
“Laura suffered for several weeks after this, her symptoms were much worse during that time.”
Laura chose a pixie cut for her new short-haired look.
Writing on her Just Giving page she said: “It is much easier with my short hair, being bed bound for 95% of the time it means I'm not forever leaning on it, and washing and drying it is so fast. I don't have to spend precious energy brushing it either."
A very brave girl
Having studied biochemistry at university before she became ill, Laura feels strongly that there is a need for more M.E. research. This was what she told her local paper, which printed details of her fundraising under the headline “First cut for ME research”.
Writing on her Just Giving page Laura thanked the people who had helped her achieve so much.
“Wow! What lovely friends and family! It's a week since I had my hair cut and we have nearly reached my target of £1,000 for research into this dreadful condition that has immobilised me for several months.”
Her mum says the people she spoke to thought she was very brave.
Don’t overdo it
Kim was happy to offer encouragement for other fundraisers, but was careful to highlight the importance of taking care of their own health first.
Her advice for others was “don't overdo it and make yourself worse. Do as much as you feel you can but remember, pushing yourself with M.E. doesn't help get you better.”
You can see photos of Laura both before and after her haircut, and read comments from her supporters on her Just Giving page.