Ashley Hinds

Emerge are currently running a GP Education Appeal with a donation matching offer, to double up to $16000 of donations to $32000 total, so whatever you donate will end up being doubled by this (secret?) donor.

This is one of the biggest and best charities for my disease in Australia, so this isn't a totally random abstract charity drive thing for strangers. If you get warm fuzzies donating to other causes, why not this? If it'll pull your heartstrings, kids get ME/CFS too BTW. A UK study found this condition is the leading cause of school absence back in the early 2000's, they measured from 18 year olds right down to five year olds! Here's a more recent study from last year run in Australia about school absence in teenagers (13-17yo) due to ME/CFS.

Anyway, what this fund-raiser right now is for...
Emerge make medical education packs with up to date information and send them out to GPs all over the country, because unfortunately most GPs are running off 20yrs out of date info with this disease, if they even "believe in it" at all! Scientists have found all sorts of weird abnormalities that aren't found in other diseases, so the going is slow as they can't just piggy back on existing research into something more "fashionable" that is similar (eg MS), but the info that this is proven to be a real biological disorder is taking forever to filter down to front-line health workers so pretty average care is the norm - misdiagnosed as various psych conditions, shouted out of the room for wasting the doctor's time, told there's nothing wrong with you & you're just neurotic etc. Not that mental illness isn't real of course, but doctors often say ME/CFS is fake outright is why I bring this up! "The patient is making it up for attention, they're imagining it, they're just anxious/depressed" etc, but then most depression and anxiety treatments make us worse so this is super bad! I has a bad reaction to an SNRI (antidepressant, cousin to the more common SSRIs) that mimicked a pituitary tumour by screwing up my hormone levels (yes, dudes have hormones too, specifically testosterone that this screwed up), left me close to bed bound for about a year and permanently worse function wise ever since and it took 5+yrs for some of my blood-work to normalise! With proper GP education I might not have ever been prescribed that stuff, and my GP is one of the good ones so imagine how much worse it can be!

Also, this is an Australian charity so donations over $2 are tax deductible, so keep your receipts for tax time next year! I suggest the ATO's app with their myDeductions tool to upload it directly into your return. You can use the app to take photos of any other receipts too, whether they be donations or work expenses like safety boots & the like, your fuel using the car for work purposes, etc.

Auto-generated text below for more context about the disease for those that don't know...

I'm fund-raising to give hope and help to the 250,000 people (like me!) living with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) across Australia.

The impact of ME/CFS can be devastating, leaving 25% of patients housebound or bedbound, with many people unable to work or participate in community life (it me! I'm a housebound in bad patches). People living with ME/CFS often feel invisible due to the unknown cause of the condition, lack of effective treatments and limited community awareness, leading many to 'go missing' from their own lives.

Funds raised go to Emerge Australia, the national body working to help people living with ME/CFS.

For our essential work to keep going, Emerge Australia relies on generous support from the community as we continue to lobby for increased public awareness and funding for biomedical research.

Ashley Hinds