Today I went to Bergen to hand over the funding from approximately 90 days of crowdfunding. I surprisingly was met by ME-patient, Sigrid Danielsen, and the director of Haukeland Hospital himself, and of course the Drs. Mella and Fluge. This is the roughly translated version of the article in Norwegian “BergensAvisen” (The Bergen Newspaper). Text: Eirik Langeland Fjeld Photo: Magne Turøy, BA
- Thank you, Maria!
Cancer researchers got a million check, and ME doctor got the holiday.
- Now you have earned a long vacation, Maria! says Sigrid Danielsen from Askøy. Sigrid Danielsen (inset) has collected more than 16.000 kroner to a vacation to Maria Gjerpe that has collected over 2.6 million for ME research. – You have given us so very, very much, first of all hope, said Danielsen.
Sigrid has in a matter of days collected 16.724 kroner for a holiday trip to the www. meyou.no-frontman, physician and ME patient Maria Gjerpe.
Gjerpe has in turn raised over 2.6 million kroner to a groundbreaking ME research at the cancer ward at Haukeland.
In December 2012 the Research Council said no to a request for money to continue ME project at Haukeland. The crowdfunding has received very much attention, both in BA and in the national media.
A number of politicians have taken up the cause, and the public debate has probably had their say when The Research Council within half a year has gone from “no” to “yes”.
The researchers got 2.679 million NOK
Checks and accolades was loose at Haukeland hospital Thursday morning.
Researchers Øystein Fluge and Olav Mella was presented with a check for the 2.679 million dollars. The money is collected by Maria Gjerpe at www.meyou.no and go to the research project in which ME sufferers are treated with the cancer drug Rituximab.
- You are curious, rigorous and particularly empathetic researchers said Gjerpe to Fluge and Mella.
On behalf of the researchers Fluge thanks for the commitment and the enormous efforts of Gjerpe.
After the researchers had received the raised money on behalf of his team at the cancer ward at Haukeland Hospital, appeared another check.
- This is for you. You have given us so very, very much, first of all hope, said Sigrid Danielsen, who has support in Silje Guleng.
- Thank you, Maria! Danielsen said and gave Gjerpe one tearful hug.
- Ugh, now I begin to cry in front of photographers, answered Gjerpe, and swallowed at least twice.
Kvinnsland: – I AM PROUD
ME research at the cancer ward has been noticed both nationally and internationally. Last week it became clear that The Research Council agree to support the ME research at Haukeland.
Managing Director at Helse Bergen, Stener Kvinnsland are very proud of the researchers’ results.
- It was only fair that the Research Council came on, said Kvinnsland to the researchers today.
He showed up unexpectedly at the check ceremony in The Park Building at Haukeland today. With him he had flowers and congratulations for Maria
- I’m very proud of these scientists. They do important work in understanding disease mechanisms in terms of ME and fatigue, he said. - This is a painful disease. It affects many young people. As a neighbor or colleague, we’ve all seen how this disease can strike, said Kvinnsland. - When it comes to figuring out this disease, it may be that this is a long and arduous task. So it is often with diseases that may seem a bit vague, said the director for researchers and collectors.
To Maria Gjerpe he said:
- You have done a fantastic job. It is amazing what you have accomplished. You are a great lady.
START THE NEW YEAR
The research has given new hope to many ME sufferers. ME patients were significantly improved after treatment with the cancer drug.
Patients experienced significant improvement in terms of fatigue, cognitive function, pain, diarrhea, sweating, sleep problems and sensitivity to light and sound. The next phase of the research project will have 140 patients, where 70 is real medicine and 70 receive placebo medicine.
- We hope to start the next phase just after New Year. Then it will take 24 months before we know who got the medicine, and begin to answer, says Øystein Fluge to BA.
- We will confirm or disprove the correlation we have seen between treatment and response. The first study we did was a small study. This study will be larger and will provide better answers, says Øystein Fluge to BA.
Some has asked me about the fundraising for the gift for me, and Sigrid says she still collect money. Besides that, she has made a memory-group, which is secret for me (still!) If you want to join the group, send her a message and ask to be added, if you like.