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Thursday 12 March 2015

Team Princess 2015

It's time to start polishing those tiaras ladies (and gents!) because Team Princess are back for more this year. I made the announcement a few weeks ago and have been getting some great responses so far and lots of people wanting to know more. So it's finally time to let you in on all the details for this years Team Princess and how you can join in or show your support.
Team Princess aka The Princesses and M.E started last year after myself and a group of friends had compared ourselves to some Princesses of the Disney/ Fairytale variety. I have to say some are up there with Princess Kate too, and that's no bad thing at all you goddesses. However back to fairytale world, some of the similarities included:
Sleeping for a very long time like Sleeping Beauty
Being really uncomfortable in our beds and the slightest things annoying our conditions like the Princess and the pea
Feeling like we've been locked away  in a tower like Rapunzel
Wanting legs that work like Ariel (find me Ursula now!)
Being out past midnight is way too late for us to stay out like Cinderella and just like her brainfog would probably mean we left something behind
We have a large propensity for hope
The bed head of Princess Anna from Frozen (anyone else love that moment and think hey she's just like me)
And we are in search of a fairytale
However for us that doesn't mean being rescued by Prince Charming; although he's welcome to come knocking. Our ultimate fairytale would be finding a cure for this illness that has locked us away from the world. That would be an absolute dream come true. However to do that we need to raise as much awareness as possible, educating everyone about the true nature of this illness and the disabling nature it can have on the lives of sufferers and those closest to them. There are more than 250,000 diagnosed cases in the UK alone. 250,000 lives that have been altered drastically and 250,000 who are waiting for an effective treatment, better consistency of information from health care professionals worldwide and of course the chance of a cure to come charging our way.
Last year Team Princess raised over £4000 for the charity Invest in ME, a charity that is very much at the forefront of trying to find tangible answers through biomedical research, drugs trials, plans for a centre of excellence. This felt like such a huge achievement for us all, especially considering the majority of us are mostly bedbound/housebound. What's more in doing so we created closer bonds with each other, creating a real sense of sisterhood (and Allan), friendship and team work. Without these bonds life would be much duller, much harder to cope with but having people that completely understand and working alongside you to make a change was one of the best achievements.
Moving on to Team Princess 2015. This year things will be a little different, we want to expand on all we achieved last year and broaden our horizons. Whilst above I talked about some of our similarities with fairytales there are many attributes of real Princesses that ME princesses emulate. Princesses are known for championing causes closest to their hearts and for their charitable nature. ME sufferers and their supporters not only battle living with illness and disability on a daily basis but also to be taken seriously. You'd think that having been recognised as a neurological condition way back in 1969 by the World Health Organization would be enough to give the illness credibility but it seems this fact gets overlooked all too often. So you will see that a lot of the time it is the sufferers themselves having to convey the realities of trying to survive with ME, not medical professionals as it should be, with some exceptions of course.
In the spirit of really wanting to champion our cause as much as possible we want to open up to supporting more ME charities both in the UK and other countries. That way any international Princesses (hi Jac!) can support charities that are making a difference in their countries and will benefit them more directly.
Therefore The Princesses and ME will be a unity of anyone that wishes to take part but within that there will be a number of Team Princess' that will fundraise on behalf of that charity. However it's important to note that there is no competition. To do this, we will be setting up team pages on Justgiving, and similar international sites.
In the UK, on the following charities are available to fundraise for:
Invest in Me
ME research UK
ME Association
Action for Young people with ME
Action for ME
In Australia, on the following charities are available:
Change for ME
The ME/ CFS society of WA
Please note that the information above is based on the people that I know have already expressed an interest in getting involved. Other charities in other countries are also available.
Also note that fundraising is not mandatory. Understandably, not everyone has the energy to do so. All we ask is that you are supportive of the Princesses that are. However for those that do I will offer as much help as I can to set up pages. Our main aim has always been about raising awareness of the illness and sharing the truth about what it is like to live with it.
So what do you need to do to become a Princess?
1) Declare your interest. Contact me on our facebook page or Twitter @how2dealwithME and let me know if you would like to get involved. Also let me know what country you are from so that I can research other charities and fundraising sites should you wish to fundraise.
2) Start planning your outfit. You can dress up as little or as much as you want to. Totally depending on your health and your wishes. Last year Princess Sami left hospital in a paper crown made by her children. However if you want to use this opportunity to embrace your inner Princess then certainly go for it. You deserve it!
3) Decide whether you want to support a specific charity and which one and also let me know which one you have chosen. I will provide more info on setting up pages very soon, once I have any idea of what charities everyone would like to support and set up the groups that you can join as an individual fundraiser.
4) On May 12th, M.E awareness day, dress up as a Princess, or a Khaleesi if you wish. Those that are feeling too bad on the day please don't push yourselves too much. Health first. Once you are Princessified simply post a photograph of yourself to social media, stating why you are dressed as a Princess and the awareness you are trying to raise of ME using #theprincessandME and #TeamPrincess.
5) Direct people to the fundraising pages of either yourself or other Princesses in Team Princess.
6) Also let me know if anyone would like to share their M.E story as part of raising awareness, either through your own blog posts, which I will link on our facebook page or a guest blog on here. I would love to do a few Princess interviews on here. Also let me know if you are going to share your story with the press.
Last year, Team Princess was made all the more special and comical because ME sufferer Allan Dickinson embraced his inner Princess, or should I say Tywysoges (it's Welsh for Princess), and dressed up, accessorizing with a rather fetching pink wig. Sadly Allan passed away a few months after, and his death affected us all deeply. This year in planning for Team Princess 2015, we always knew that we wanted to honour Allan's memory in some way. First of all, we decided that we would wear something pink, it doesn't have to be the whole outfit, just something with pink on it to represent Allan. Then a short while ago I was contacted by Allan's son Michael, who said that he would like to be involved in this years efforts. Michael doesn't have ME but he is willing to dress up as a Princess for the day to help raise awareness and fundraise for ME charities, with the support of his daughter Milla who will also be dressing up. Of course this bought on lots of tears but it is a privilege to have Michael and Milla as part of the team.
Hopefully this blog post has covered all you need to know for now. I will soon have more information on fundraising and help to set up pages. Any more questions though please do ask.
Keep your heads up Princesses, don't let those tiaras slip.
Queenie xx


  1. Sure it will all go well!
    Best of luck with it.

    1. Thank you. Sure we can't get you in a tiara Greg?

  2. Hey, Thought i was on my Runnin On Empty site but i'm not i'm on my music site ;/ and cant be arsed to change over due to flu and foggy head lol" what I wanted to say was would you like me to cover this in next Fridays watford observer Column? which off the top of my head would be 20th march? if so can you inbox me on my Runnin On Empty facebook page so we can chat over the next few days? Cheers :) xxx

    1. That would so fantastic. Thank you. I'll be sure to send you a message, hopefully tomorrow. Thanks again xx

    2. That would so fantastic. Thank you. I'll be sure to send you a message, hopefully tomorrow. Thanks again xx

  3. Oh this is so exciting! 👸 I had heard about the team princess campaign last year, but I must admit that I didn't fully get what it was about. I absolutely love the princess analogies! I'll have to see if I can think of any more! I would love to hear of any updates to the plan, and of course would like to be involved - health dependant of course. Keep us all updated.


    1. Thanks Jenny, we would love to have you as part of the Team of course depending on your health as it is for all of us. I will certainly keep you updated. Yes let me know if you think of any more analogies. I am sure there are loads more. It's an excuse, if any were needed to watch some more Princess films. I must also check up on your blog. Let me know if you have any posts about your story that you would be happy to share on our page.

      Sian x

  4. This is fantastic Sian. You do such amazing work in bringing the online community together and raising awareness. I feel very proud to know you. I am planning to tag on to Anna's fundraising efforts with a mini Blue Sunday here. I may have to commit my spoons to that but will be behind Team Princess all the way xxx

    1. Thank you Faye, that's so lovely of you to say. Great that you will be having a Blue Sunday tea party. I'll be eating cake in my tiara of course. Thank you for your support it means so much xx

  5. Go Team Princess!!! Your like wonder woman Sian!

    Lennae xxx