Emily, My Inspiration

Seven years ago today, my first article in The Daily Telegraph was published. It told of the suffering and death of my dear friend Emily Collingridge.

Emily had been passionate about raising awareness of ME, and I couldn’t bear the thought of her death passing unnoticed by the wider world. I wrote a piece about her in the hope that someone might publish it – never dreaming that it would end up in the mainstream media.

At that time there was little accurate coverage of ME in the press, and almost nothing that described the effects of severe ME. Although I was constrained by the limitations of what could be said in print, I’m glad that Emily’s story – or at least a small part of it – was told publicly.

A young woman smiles brightly at the camera. She has short, dark hair and wears a blue top.

I think of Emily very often, and especially on significant occasions. Today is one such day when I am reminded of how she inspired me, and how much she has shaped my life. Everything I’ve done with my writing and advocacy in the past seven years has been built on that first article about her.

The Daily Telegraph article about Emily is here. Please also read the important footnote beneath it.

Emily’s story, in her own words, is also told in Severe M.E. Awareness Day: Emily’s Appeal.