Creating A Social Enterprise With A Chronic Illness – The Story Of Spoonie Survival Kits

As I say goodbye to Spoonie Survival Kits, it felt only right to reflect on how the heck we even got here. Indulge me while I tell you the story, will you?

The Background

2014 Pippa really wasn’t thriving. On the outside I was trying to live my best life and enjoy being a student, but inside I was reeling from finally, finally being diagnosed with a chronic illness – a diagnosis that had raised more questions than it had answered. I had absolutely no idea what the future would hold. It was a struggle to get through each day, not only physically from the toll of ME/CFS symptoms, but mentally too. For a long time, I felt completely dispensable. I’d lost my sense of purpose, and I’d definitely lost my sparkle.

I can still remember the exact moment that the concept of Spoonie Survival Kits came to me. A few months after my diagnosis, full of listening and learning, I’d begun mulling over what I could do to raise some much-needed money for ME/CFS charities. I obviously couldn’t do any sponsored walks or runs or anything that involved physical activity beyond the mammoth remit of putting the kettle on, and I wanted to do something a bit different to the usual (albeit incredibly beneficial) care package schemes that are popular in the chronic illness community. I wanted to do something where I could simultaneously raise money for deserving causes, spread a bit of cheer, and ideally not completely destroy myself in the process.

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‘Dear Chronic Illness’… releasing a charity book!

pippa wearing red jumper and holding up copy of Dear Chronic Illness book, and smiling
Image Credits: Isaac Vaughan Photography

First things first, you can:

PURCHASE THE EBOOK ON AMAZON HERE.*

PURCHASE THE PAPERBACK ON AMAZON HERE.*

PURCHASE THE BOOK FROM BARNES AND NOBLE HERE.

Go on, treat yourself…

“Dear M.E,   

If this letter was part of an inspirational movie, I’m sure I would be saying a heartfelt thank you. Dramatic music would play whilst I’d gush about how becoming ill changed my life for the better and helped me discover more about myself as a person, whilst I waltzed off into the sunset with a handsome prince and some kind of small fortune due to a dramatic plot twist. 

Unfortunately, this is not an inspirational movie. Instead of waltzing off into the sunset, I manoeuvre an unreliable wheelchair along a questionably uneven pavement. Instead of finding a handsome prince, I concentrate on finding the most qualified medical professionals to manage my condition… with bonus points if they happen to be attractive, of course. And my plot twist isn’t a small fortune: it’s not knowing if, when or how I will ever get better.” 

– Pippa Stacey. Dear Chronic Illness (Kindle Locations 171-173). Wallace Publishing. Kindle Edition. 

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