by Andrew Bretherton
On Saturday 11 May, Melbourne held their fifth Millions Missing event, gathering on the steps on the State Library in the city centre. Shoes lined the steps and people could go up and read the stories attached to them. Andrew gave an impassioned speech, giving voice to those who couldn’t be there and explaining the payback that people at the event would feel afterwards.
It was so great to be a part of the Millions Missing rally in Melbourne. I finally got to see a lot of people face to face that I’ve been interacting with online. Around 50 people were at the event.
I donated my old kung fu shoes to the event and took some photos of friends’ shoes that were too sick to attend. Turnout was great and I was very surprised and honoured to be asked to speak on behalf of people with ME by the organisers and Emerge’s former CEO and committee member, John Jeffries. This was very unexpected but well worth the payback.
Anna Kerr also spoke about how the first Millions Missing started with just 15 attendees so it was pleasing to see so much support now from friends and family members.
My short speech followed Anna’s.
“There are people who couldn’t make it here today due to the severity of their illness.
“We may look ok today but tomorrow we will absolutely be in pain, feeling dead, nauseous and everything.
“These people are missing so much from their lives, missing school, work and we are really stigmatised so please try and support us.”
Read more about Andrew’s story.