Help more ME/CFS patients like Laura connect to Emerge Australia this Christmas

Delayed by misdiagnosis, ME/CFS patients like Laura are waiting too long for the vital support they need. Donate to Emerge Australia throughout November and December, so no ME/CFS patient misses out on help this Christmas.

Laura’s story

Before her ME/CFS diagnosis, Laura was a happy, busy woman in her mid-20s. She worked as a primary school teacher and was a regular volunteer at her local community theatre.

One of her proudest moments was directing 70 children to perform One Hundred and One Dalmatians. She remembers their giddy excitement, and how satisfying it was to watch their acting skills develop with each rehearsal.

Sadly, it’s the last stage production she’s directed.

In 2019, Laura became suddenly and severely unwell. As her energy levels plunged, her doctors, friends and family struggled to understand what was wrong. Laura’s mum, Robyn, remembers:

‘Laura was following treatment plans suggested by specialists who didn't diagnose her condition as ME/CFS. They downplayed her illness or gave her advice that was damaging to her recovery – telling her to ‘push through’ or ‘walk until you’re well’.’

When Laura’s doctor prescribed a graded exercise therapy program, she did her best to follow it. But things became worse. Her health deteriorated rapidly. Soon Laura was housebound. Then, she was bedbound.

Laura did what doctors told her. But instead of getting better, she became sicker. What she needed was expert advice tailored for ME/CFS patients – the kind of support Emerge Australia provides.

ME/CFS and Long COVID patients wait too long to access the right support. Your kind donation today will give a patient like Laura the help they urgently need.

Laura, travelling the UK


How Emerge Australia supports ME/CFS patients like Laura

When Laura’s mum, Robyn, heard about Emerge Australia, she searched our website straight away. There, she found a wealth of evidence-based information – all relevant to Laura.

Emerge Australia’s web resources helped us understand ME/CFS and how to keep Laura as safe and healthy as possible. We began to realise the importance of pacing and the concept of post-exertional malaise.’

Exploring the website, she found strategies on how to help Laura manage and live with ME/CFS. She discovered our specially trained and qualified telehealth nurses, who are always on call. And she found online peer support groups that are accessible year-round.

While the impact of ME/CFS on Laura’s life is still very severe, accessing our patient services has helped Robyn accept and work within her daughter’s limits. What’s more, she’s finding new ways to bring a little light back into Laura’s day.

Laura needs help with everything, every day. She can't look at screens, she can't talk, so it's all very difficult for her. But one of the things I do is bring something to her, so she can close her eyes and guess what it is by feel. I collect jokes for her as well, to make life more interesting.’

Right now, just like Laura, as many as 65,000 people with ME/CFS in Australia are housebound or bedbound. But your help can deliver direct support to patients like Laura.

Will you help more ME/CFS patients like Laura access the information, compassion and responsive support they need?

Your generous gift to Emerge Australia will ensure ME/CFS and Long COVID patients like Laura receive tailored, practical and forward-looking support:

  • $100 pays for a telehealth nurse consultation 
  • $250 funds a single online community group session led by a professional facilitator, to provide virtual peer support for 10 people living or caring for a person who lives with ME/CFS and Long COVID.
  • $1,000 covers the weekly cost of our National Patient Support and Information Service, to connect patients and carers with a Registered Nurse, free of charge.
  • $5,000 will go towards funding of all of the above and allows Emerge Australia to help develop future projects that support and advocate for people living with ME/CFS and Long COVID.

‘Now we have somewhere to turn and someone to ask’

Today, Laura and Robyn feel connected to an ME/CFS community that understands them. Having Emerge Australia's resources and services within reach has taken a weight off their shoulders.


Laura and her mother, Robyn attending Laura's graduation


‘Previously, Laura experienced
many incidents where people didn’t believe her. Now she feels validated and less alone. We have somewhere to turn and someone to ask.’

And as Laura’s full-time carer, Robyn has also been able to access support for herself.

‘The opportunity to talk to other carers has been a big advantage. I joined two online facilitated groups that Emerge Australia ran for carers of ME/CFS patients. We shared things we've been experiencing and, after the programs finished, we kept talking to each other informally. It’s great to have other people I can talk to, who understand what my life is like and what Laura is having to deal with.’

When patients and their carers connect with Emerge Australia, there’s a powerful ripple effect. Their feelings of isolation fade away. Finally, they feel supported and seen.

Yet across Australia, too many of the 250,000 people living with ME/CFS are missing out on this vital support. Like Laura, they’re struggling to have their condition correctly diagnosed. They’re grappling with its debilitating impacts on their daily life. And they’re lacking the expert ME/CFS advice they desperately need.

Please, don’t leave patients like Laura without support. Donate to Emerge Australia this Christmas, so every ME/CFS and Long COVID patient has somewhere to turn for help.

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