Well, isn’t time flying? That’s ten months of 2017 gone already. Which can only mean one thing… It’s time to announce my November beading project. Drum roll please…
My November Beading Project
This is one of those, ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’ situations. Now, as it actually launches, I’m wondering if I’ve done a really stupid thing.
My November beading project is to use my beads to raise £1,000 to help fund a clinical trial of a treatment for CFS/ME.
So, my intentions are good: help others (I’ll explain how shortly). The idea makes sense: for me, beading and CFS/ME are inextricably linked since it is this illness that led me to find beads.
Plus, I think I’ve managed to come up with a characteristically quirky twist to an old idea. I’m now allergic to sugar (sadly, even one mouthful of chocolate leads to horrible headaches and nausea these days). So, cakes are off the menu for me. But how often do we use charity cake sales and bake-offs to raise money for good causes?
So, in keeping with tradition, I’ve decided to use my beaded cupcake to try and raise my target £1,000. I know I like to dream big, but right now, I’m thinking I was totally stupid to set such a high target. Particularly, since I’m suggesting donations of just £2.
Basically, I was thinking, let’s keep this affordable. Let’s pull together for a greater good. So, that means I need to find 500 people who are willing to help me out on this. I think my logic went something along the lines of: the beading community is a really supportive and generous group of people, so maybe some of them will help me. But realistically, will 500 people care enough to support this cause?
What do you need to do to win?
I’m asking people to donate £2 or whatever you can afford, to guess how many beads it took to make my cupcake. The winner will be the person who gets closest to the right answer (if more than one person does that, I will pick randomly from the winning entries). The prize is my beloved cupcake beaded box…and let me tell you, I really don’t want to part with it!
Why I’m out of my comfort zone
I never realised that this November beading project would take me to such an uncomfortable place.
Firstly, I’m feeling really uncomfortable about asking people to donate to a cause that means so much to me. It feels somehow selfish. Is that in any way rational?
In actual fact, this clinical trial probably won’t benefit me directly at all. It is testing the treatment that I am already using. The clinic with whom I have been working since April are confident in their ability to help people manage and even recover from the illness. They are helping me, slowly – this isn’t an overnight cure and may not be a complete cure at all.
The trial is still going to take at least a couple more years. So, the next phase is to raise enough money to fund putting some people through the treatment program and monitoring the results. The clinic needs to raise an extra £50,000 before this phase can commence.
Once the money has been raised, they will be seeking volunteers to take part in the trial (I won’t qualify for that) and the treatment and monitoring will be carried out over the course of one year. Then the next phase will be to analyse and write up the results.
The ultimate goal of this trial is to establish a reliable treatment that can be used by healthcare professionals, like the NHS. So, this could benefit anyone who is currently dealing with the illness and anyone it affects in the future. The clinic already treats people from all around the world, so their work won’t just be impacting in the UK. It’s a big deal.
The second reason…
…I’m feeling so uncomfortable is that horrible nagging fear that my November beading project is going to be a complete failure.
The clinic’s fund-raising committee have put together a fund-raising page for me here. It went live yesterday afternoon and the link was posted to my Facebook community and the clinic’s Facebook community. So far, I have a total of one donation, for which I am unbelievably grateful.
Now, I didn’t want to just ask people to donate money. So, I thought I would donate my cupcake beaded box as a prize and ask people to make their donation and guess how many beads I used to make the box.
I thought this might be fun and I hoped the offer of gaining something might tempt people… Alongside the warm fuzzy feeling you will get from doing some good of course!
The third reason…
That brings me to the third reason that my November beading project is making me feel so uncomfortable. The good old chestnut of ego and judgment.
What if I’m the only one who thinks my little cupcake is special? So, maybe I’m offering up a ‘prize’ that isn’t really desirable at all.
Maybe I’m touting a cause that people just don’t care about.
If those things are true, I don’t stand any chance of reaching my goal and this November beading project is not going to be a happy experience.
What happens next?
Anyway, rightly or wrongly, I’ve made this public commitment now, so too late to back out! Not that I want to: I desperately want to support any research that will bring us closer to understanding CFS/ME.
So, part of the hard work is done. I’ve made the cupcake and set up the fund-raiser (big thank you to Gemma at the clinic for her brilliant help in doing that bit).
Now, I have 30 days to continue to work hard and persuade 500 people to invest in this. So, do I ‘sell’ the cupcake or the cause? I think I’ll leave the cupcake to ‘sell’ itself – you’ll either love it and want a chance to win it, or you won’t!
Instead, I’m going to use my blog this month to talk a bit more about CFS/ME. What is it? What treatments are available? How does it impact people? How has it affected me?
So, over to you now…If you want to help, donate and stake your claim on the cupcake, you can do that at this link.
I would also love to hear from you. So, what questions do you have about the illness? What would you like me to talk about? Leave a comment below or send me an email and I’ll use your questions to build into my blogs about CFS/ME.