by Sasha Nimmo

If you live in the electorate of North Sydney, or have friends or family who do, please contact the election’s candidates this week with your suggestions about what you’d like to see for people with ME and your experiences with the NSW health care system.

The by-election is on Saturday 5 December, 2015.

Below is a sample letter you can use, I encourage you to personalise it or write your own!

Here are the candidates’ contact details.

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear (Candidate name),

I’ll be voting in the election this Saturday.

Before I vote, can you tell me if you can help the 96,700, up to 241,800 Australians who have Myalgic Encephalomyelitis? ME is a multi-system disease with no treatment and no cure. ME can be extremely disabling and it is estimated it costs the Australian economy $4 billion a year.

(include a sentence or two about you and your circumstances)

Over the last 16 years, the federal government has only spent $1.6 million on research, only enough to employ one scientist and not enough for a laboratory. Comparable immune diseases, like HIV, received $100 million, 50 times as much.

Federal Senator Ludlam said at Parliament House recently “I am struggling to think of a cohort of people in our community that large for whom there is so little”.

New South Wales has no treatment clinics, despite the many thousands of sufferers here.

Queensland has the Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Disease at Griffith University (world-leading research and patient clinic), Victoria has an in-patient clinic and South Australia has plans to open a combined treatment and research centre. What steps can you take to help people with ME here?

I would appreciate it if you could take the Chilli ME Challenge, to show your support too.

I look forward to hearing from you.

(your name)