Matchstick Campaign for ME Awareness

Art has the power to inspire, to evoke reflection, to see things differently, to force change.

An image can capture a thousand words and express views and feelings and convey a sentiment often far better than several pages of words.

Wolfgang Stiller is an award-winning German artist who currently lives and works in Berlin.

Wolfgang has kindly given permission for his matchstick images to be used for raising awareness of ME.

Contacted originally by Janet Smart, Wolfgang's original and inspired art now allows us to launch the Matchstick Campaign for ME Awareness.

Janet and the Let's Do It For ME team have added a slogan for each image and, in turn, IiME has developed a brochure featuring these images and describing what the charity and supporters are doing.

Wolfgang has used a common, everyday item which is often ignored, used and discarded by most people, and turned it into a message which makes one pause and think.

These striking images are used to highlight the situation in which people with ME have found themselves.

The parallels with the way ME patients have been treated over the years are obvious.

To begin ME Awareness Month May 2015 and to continue to raise awareness throughout the year these wonderful and searching images will hopefully cause people to reflect on the waste of life which has been, and is occurring with regard to this disease.

Yet they will also offer hope that things will change, will improve and serve to highlight that from the ashes of ignorance and apathy will come a better time and patients will regain their health.

Each of the images carries a message - and this message has been related to the work that Invest in ME (Research) and supporters are carrying out.

Click on the images below for each of the images and information

The matchstick images are copyrighted to artist Wolfgang Stiller and may not be copied without permission

Copies of the Matchstick for ME brochure (click on the image above) are available from Invest in ME to be distributed to hospitals, doctors, universities, politicians and the media.

Please contact us.

Invest in ME Research is an independent UK charity finding, facilitating, and funding a strategy of biomedical research into Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), and promoting better education about ME.

The charity's objectives are to initiate, maintain and augment a strategy of high-quality biomedical research into ME, to provide education about ME, and to raise awareness of the effects of the disease on patients and families.

The charity believes that biomedical research into ME is crucial in order to make progress in treating this disease. We also believe that education of healthcare staff, the media, government departments, patient groups and patients is to be a priority.

Invest in ME Research is run by volunteers - patients or parents of children with ME - with no paid staff.

Overheads are kept to a minimum to enable all funds raised to go to promoting education of, and facilitating and funding biomedical research into, ME.

We are a small charity but with supporters who have big hearts - and a determination to get the best possible research to be carried out to find the cause of myalgic encephalomyelitis and develop treatments.

We have links nationwide and also internationally.

Invest in ME Research is a founder member of the European ME Alliance (EMEA), a collaboration of European national charities and organisations.

The charity was also responsible for initiating the European ME Research Group (EMERG) concept, a collaboration of European researchers from major institutes.

The charity also has initiated the European ME Clinicians Council (EMECC), a network of European clinicians who will work together and share experiences of treating ME in order to establish better standards for patient care.

We do not receive, and have never received funding from government or government organisations.

The seriousness and urgency of the situation regarding ME makes it necessary for a charity such as Invest in ME Research to provide the impetus for funding biomedical research in order to provide hope for the development of diagnostic tests and remedial treatments.
The charity has pursued of policy of raising funds itself for biomedical research in order to fund research at top UK institutes. More information is available here.

We believe that clinicians should standardise on usage of the most up-to-date criteria which will be agreed and developed for diagnosis by the European ME Clinicians Council and European ME Research Group, along with international collaborators. in order that there is an agreed basis (noting that evolutionary improvement would be welcomed).

The charity organises an annual research Colloquium and conference regularly attracting delegates from 20 countries and funds research at the Quadram Institute and the University of East Anglia as well as influencing collaboration elsewhere, in UK, Europe and beyond.

Our conferences and colloquiums were organised from the beginning in order to provide a platform for research and a means of facilitating education about ME.

In order to bring the best education and research to bear on ME and to find and facilitate the best strategy of research into this disease the charity welcomes support for our work.

Our aim is to fund and facilitate research in order to establish an understanding of the aetiology, pathogenesis and epidemiology of ME. We hope this will lead to the development of a universal diagnostic test(s) that can confirm the presence of ME and, subsequently, medical treatments to cure or alleviate the effects of the illness

Our efforts are focused on setting up a UK/European Centre of Excellence for ME which will provide proper examinations and diagnosis for ME patients and a coordinated strategy of biomedical research into ME in order to find treatment(s) and cure(s).

More information from the following links -

January 2015

"Things do not have to be the way they are - we can change things"

- Dr Ian Gibson