Thursday, 13 November 2014

One Million Lovely Letters


A while ago a friend of mine pointed me in the direction of a lovely lady called Jodi Ann Bickley and her project, One million lovely letters. After reading and hearing more about her, I really wanted to share with you the amazing mission she has taken on. Jodi Ann is 26 and from Birmingham. In late 2001 she became very ill with a brain infection, which left her having to relearn how to do certain things again. They had hoped she would begin to recover from her infection, but after going back to work, Jodi Ann started to suffer from headaches, dizziness, became very sensitive to noise and experienced extreme fatigue. She ended up back in hospital again, where she underwent numerous tests and procedures. This continued for a year and, on seeing a difference doctor, a diagnosis of M.E. was made. Those of you who read my blog regularly will probably remember that I was originally diagnosed with M.E when I was 15, so Jodi Ann’s story really struck a chord with me.



For anyone who hasn’t heard of M.E. I’ll briefly explain what it is. It’s a neurological condition that causes extreme fatigue, widespread pain, digestive problems, difficulty regulating temperature, sensitivities and a whole host of other symptoms. There isn’t a test for it, and nor is there a cure. As Jodi Ann says “M.E. is a little bit of an odd duck, it’s not life threatening but is completely life altering and can make you feel a little bit crazy because many of the symptoms are pretty invisible things such as muscle weakness, severe headaches, exhaustion…it’s a real rollercoaster!”

Jodi Ann has lived with this condition ever since, but says she is finally learning to adapt to her illness and feel more in control of her life. What’s really amazing though, is what this led her to do with her time. She wanted to start something that made her feel alive again as well as to help others, so started a project called One Million Lovely Letters. On her website is an e-mail address, and you can contact her and ask her to send you, or someone you know, a lovely letter. Jodi Ann explains her thinking behind this idea brilliantly: “I know in our worst moments, sometimes it only takes one person to make you feel like you belong – to remind you how incredible you are and I hope that’s what I and my one million lovely letters can do.”



What an inspirational lady. Despite her suffering, she uses her precious energy to bring light and hope into the lives of so many other people. I’m a massive fan of snail mail and, since becoming unwell; it has been a glimmer of hope to receive a lovely letter in even the darkest of days. I now have quite a few pen pals and absolutely love sending and receiving letters and gifts. If it’s something that interests you, and you feel you would like to help Jodi Ann on her quest to send one million lovely letters, you can now apply to be a volunteer. Check out this page here for all the ways you can help with the project – from writing letters alongside Jodi Ann, to making a donation for all those stamps that are needed to send these lovely letters.



Jodi Ann has also written a book under the same name, ‘One Million Lovely Letters,’ which I’m dying to read. It’s a Sunday Times Bestseller and from the preview on Amazon it looks just as inspirational as it sounds. If you’d like to buy it you can find it here.

I think it’s amazing to have someone like Jodi Ann to look up to, and it shows the rest of the world that just because someone has a chronic illness does not mean that they are any less of an important member of society. I am also optimistic that this will give hope to others who may not be in the best of health, and let them see that they don’t have to give up because there are so many important things that they can still do, despite not being well.

Have you heard of One Million Lovely Letters before? Is it something you think you might be able to help or support, or is there something else you could do to help other people?



your photo name

2 comments:

  1. I think Jodi Ann Bickley is an incredibly inspirational lady. I absolutely loved her book :)
    Faye
    Freckles&All

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's amazing isn't she Faye. I really need to read her book! xx

      Delete