Hi, I'm Lara, I'm 23 years old and live in South West London.
I was diagnosed with ME at the age of 17, not long after my brother had also been diagnosed with ME. My health slowly declined and for a year, whilst at uni, I became mostly housebound or bedbound for long periods. Despite this I managed to complete my Law degree, studying mostly from my bed, often only able to work for a short time every few weeks or even months.
Whilst I am unfortunately unable to work at the moment and mostly housebound, making jewellery and helping to raise awareness in my own little way gives me a sense of achievement and purpose.
I am making and selling delicate gemstone jewellery and donating 50% of all profits to the ME Association (MEA). Every time a purchase is made the profits will be donated via this page.
** Jewellery can be purchased via Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/OneBlueGem
Funding is desperately needed for further biomedical research into ME. The MEA have both instigated and taken part in many groundbreaking studies and aim to take part in many more with our support!
ME is an incredibly debilitating illness, impacting extremely on an individual's life and can even be fatal in very severe cases. However, ME has long been misunderstood due to a lack of research; therefore there is currently no effective treatment or cure, and sufferers may even experience mistreatment and negligence.
I have experienced just how much ME can devastate your life, and the impact it can have on the lives of loved ones and carers. It is a cruel disease that does not discriminate, affecting many children and young people as well as adults.
The name "One Blue Gem" originates from the ME ribbon colour being blue and due to a small, blue gemstone being attached to every piece of jewellery. Just as a gemstone has had to withstand extreme heat, pressure and a slow rise to the earth's surface, One Blue Gem represents our strengths that are formed through hardship. I've personally found the kindness and bravery of people with chronic illnesses to be truly remarkable.
As a piece of jewellery once did for me, I hope that this jewellery may remind its wearer of their inner strength and perseverance.
Thank you so much for visiting this page, supporting the MEA and all the invisible illness warriors out there!