Call for letters!

photo-14I’d really appreciate your help! I’m studying for an MLitt in Creative Writing and as part of my course I need to do an editing and publishing project. I’d like to base my project on the way in which people find out they have Multiple Sclerosis – how the news is broken.

Personally, I was first told I probably had the disease by a neurologist who visited me about ten hours after I was admitted to hospital in the middle of the night – having phoned NHS 24 to say I couldn’t feel my feet or my legs. After taking my medical history and examining me, she said, ‘I’ll be amazed if you don’t have MS.’

I didn’t have a clue what MS was. In my shock (I’d thought I had a trapped nerve), I couldn’t even think which disease the initials referred to. It was then another two months, an MRI and a lumbar puncture, before a different neurologist sat me down in his office and gave me a diagnosis of MS.

Our diagnosis stories often go untold and I think that’s a shame. I’d like to hear the stories other people have to tell about how the news was broken to them. I’m therefore asking for volunteers to write letters to me, describing the way in which they were told they had MS.

This is where YOU come in! Please write to me in the format of a letter… Dear Gillian, I am writing to tell you about the way I was told I have MS…

I’d love if you could also write a little bit about yourself – before and after diagnosis – but I would ask that your letters are no more than 800 words long.

I understand that some people might want to remain anonymous, so if you’d rather, simply signing off with your first name would be great.

I’m not sure how many letters I’ll receive, which makes it a little difficult to plan my project. If (fingers crossed!) there’s a great response, it might not be possible to publish all of your letters in this small book. If that happens, I plan to organise an event where all the letters can be displayed.

My hope is that by the end of this project, with your help, we will have created a book of letters that brings to life the people behind the statistics. If you’re interested in participating, please email a copy of your letter to me at  gshirreffs@yahoo.com  before February 28th.

Many thanks!

Gillian

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