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Vote Once, from Anywhere! Win £2,000 for Invest in ME

Image by Theresa Thompson on Flickr

Do what the shoes say!
(Image by Theresa Thompson on Flickr)

by Sasha

Probably the easiest money we’ll ever raise is up for grabs in an online voting contest in which UK research charity Invest in ME is a frontrunner.

Anyone can vote, from anywhere in the world, and you vote just once, but you need a Google or Facebook account to do so (or to be willing to spring for postage).

The contest

The contest is being held by Direct Debit, who manage automated bill payments in the UK. They’re running a fresh contest each month until June, each with a top prize of £2,000 ($3,100), a second prize of £1,000 ($1,500) and £2,000 ($3,100) divided equally between a small number of runners-up.

We want the first prize for the April contest and, at the time of writing, Invest in ME is already in second place. Even if we get to first, we can’t be complacent: there are a few mega-charities in the pool whose supporters seem to be asleep but will give us a real run for our money (literally) if they wake up.

Invest in ME

Invest in ME (IiME) were only founded in 2005 but have made a big impact on the ME scene, with their driving passion for biomedical research. They want a national strategy for biomedical research into the causes, pathology and epidemiology of WHO-defined ME, leading to diagnostic biomarkers, medical treatments, and a cure.

With that focus, it’s hardly surprising that they’ve made a big hit with ME patients both in the UK and beyond, and one of their main activities is hosting an annual, international ME conference which now attracts not just clinicians and researchers but patient advocacy groups and journalists from all over the world.

This year’s conference, to be held on May 31 in London, has an impressive line-up that includes Dr Mady Hornig, the director of the eagerly-awaited Lipkin pathogen study; Prof. Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik of Bond University’s PHANU; Prof. Olav Mella and Dr Ǿystein Fluge of the Norwegian Rituximab study; and Dr Andreas Kogelnik of the Open Medicine Institute. One of the main functions of a conference is to get the right people in the same room together and it looks as though IiME know exactly how to do that.

Invest in ME’s other big project is to establish a UK and European Centre of Excellence for translational biomedical ME research, clinical assessment, diagnosis and treatment for patients, that will also offer training and information for healthcare staff. The centre, using existing NHS infrastructure as far as possible, and based around the Norwich Research Park, will collaborate with international biomedical researchers. IiME have already raised £88,000 of the £100,000 needed to begin their first research project.

And finally, something I really like about IiME: they’re advertising the fundraising drive for Norway’s Rituximab trial. As they say, it’s not a competition.

That kind of attitude deserves our support and we can give it for free, for just a mouseclick.

How to vote

You only need to vote once – how refreshing! – and you can vote from anywhere in the world by logging into your Facebook or Google account and then going to Invest in ME’s voting page. Scroll down a bit and hit the big red button at the bottom right that says, ‘Vote for this cause’.

Only one vote for IiME is allowed from each IP address, which means that you can only get one vote per internet connection in your house.

Unusually, if you don’t have a Facebook or Google account you can vote by post. Send a postcard with your name and address, saying that you’re voting for Invest in ME, to: The Big Break, 131-151 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 5BB. The closing date for votes is 30 April.

You can keep an eye on how we’re doing by going to this page and clicking on the ‘Rank’ sort-order button.

Please vote, and get your friends and family to vote. Let’s put a £2,000 smile on Invest in ME’s faces!

 

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{ 81 comments… add one }

  • Sasha April 30, 2013, 12:31 am
    snowathlete

    Well done for spotting the march!

    That's insomnia for you. :confused:

    I hope the fundraising group can pull a few more votes out of the hat! At least the US and Canada and Oz will still be awake. Maybe some votes there…

  • Sasha April 30, 2013, 8:50 am

    12 votes! The final day's voting and we're behind Sands by 12 votes! :eek::eek::eek:

    The others are in the dust, it's just us and Sands. We get £1,000 in second but we want the £2,000 for first place!

  • Sasha April 30, 2013, 9:56 am

    We're two votes behind now! :alien:

    (I know that's an alien smiley but he looks so excited!)

  • Sasha April 30, 2013, 10:36 am

    We're having our own surge now!

    We're in 1st place with 2,989, Sands have 2,942 – we're 47 ahead! :alien::alien::alien:

  • Sasha April 30, 2013, 12:48 pm

    Our surge forward got bigger in the last couple of hours – we're ahead with 3,094 to Sands's 2,965 – we're 129 ahead! :alien:

    I don't know where those extra votes came from but I'm very grateful for them! :)

    But we've got to keep this up til midnight! 😮

  • Sasha April 30, 2013, 5:12 pm

    Sands are closing – we're a bare 83 ahead now and there are 7 hours til midnight! 😮

    Vote, if you haven't!

  • snowathlete April 30, 2013, 5:47 pm

    yes 80 odd votes is unlikely to be enough to keep us in first place because I expect SANDS will have a surge later on today. So, if you haven't emailed your friends/family yet then please do so now!
    Also, if you have already facebooked it, great, but if you have the energy then use facebook messenger to check with your supportive contacts to see if they have voted yet – many are willing, but just need a bit of prompting!

  • Sasha April 30, 2013, 7:44 pm

    4 hours til midnight and we're 3,279, they're 3,214 – only 65 in it. :eek::eek::eek:

  • Sasha April 30, 2013, 9:29 pm

    We're leading by only 3 votes! :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

    Only two and a half hours to go, if they're stopping at midnight UK time.

    If you haven't voted, NOWWWWW!

  • snowathlete April 30, 2013, 9:32 pm

    VOTE VOTE VOTE. It is going to come down to a handful of votes, and those votes are worth £1000 (more than $1500) and this charity do a lot internationally and fund bio-medical research

  • Sasha April 30, 2013, 9:38 pm
    snowathlete

    VOTE VOTE VOTE. It is going to come down to a handful of votes, and those votes are worth £1000 (more than $1500) and this charity do a lot internationally and fund bio-medical research

    It really is – we just picked up more votes since I posted! We're 3,373, they're 3,359 – 14 votes in it now.

    I'm amazed that either group is still pulling more votes out of the bag at this late stage. If we've got more support in the US and Canada than Sands, and our friends over the water will vote, we'll win!

    Fantastic that we've got nearly 4,000 votes, though – I don't know what the biggest turn-out in an ME contest has been yet but surely this is one of the biggest? And it's restricted to people with Facebook and Google accounts and only one per IP address.

    I think the ME contest bandwagon is really starting to roll! 😎

    Wow, since I started typing we're now 3,388, they're 3,369 – whoever's joining in, keep piling on! :)

  • snowathlete April 30, 2013, 9:47 pm
    Sasha

    It really is – we just picked up more votes since I posted! We're 3,373, they're 3,359 – 14 votes in it now.

    I'm amazed that either group is still pulling more votes out of the bag at this late stage. If we've got more support in the US and Canada than Sands, and our friends over the water will vote, we'll win!

    Fantastic that we've got nearly 4,000 votes, though – I don't know what the biggest turn-out in an ME contest has been yet but surely this is one of the biggest? And it's restricted to people with Facebook and Google accounts and only one per IP address.

    I think the ME contest bandwagon is really starting to roll! 😎

    Wow, since I started typing we're now 3,388, they're 3,369 – whoever's joining in, keep piling on! :)

    We just emailed some groups in Canada, so I think that has given us another 20 ish votes. I dont know either but I think 4000 shows that the community has started to believe that we can win these competitions and fundraising efforts are a bit more coordinated and systemic than they used to be, so there is a lot to be optimitic about going forward.
    BUT IF YOU ARE READING THIS THEN PLEASE VOTE IF YOU HAVENT YET!

  • Sasha April 30, 2013, 9:53 pm
    snowathlete

    We just emailed some groups in Canada

    Thanks to you and the fundraising group – you're really working away down the vote mines!

  • snowathlete April 30, 2013, 10:18 pm

    US: 3481 v. SANDS: 3452 :) LETS KEEP IT UP!

  • snowathlete April 30, 2013, 10:18 pm
    Sasha

    Thanks to you and the fundraising group – you're really working away down the vote mines!

    there's gold in them mines!

  • Purple April 30, 2013, 10:22 pm

    Anyone with Twitter accounts and lots of followers – please tweet about this contest :) Thank you!

  • Sasha April 30, 2013, 10:24 pm
    Sasha

    Wow, since I started typing we're now 3,388, they're 3,369 – whoever's joining in, keep piling on! :)

    Since I wrote that 45 minutes ago, we've each got about another hundred votes!

    We're now 3,493, they're 3,457 – we're 36 ahead. :eek::alien::sluggish:

  • Sasha April 30, 2013, 10:25 pm
    Purple

    Anyone with Twitter accounts and lots of followers – please tweet about this contest :) Thank you!

    Or even one follower! Seriously, I can see this coming down to a single vote! 😮

  • Sasha April 30, 2013, 11:30 pm

    Well, it's 11:30pm in the UK – I'm assuming half an hour until voting closes.

    We're leading with 3,578 and Sands have 3,488 – so we're leading by 90 votes! :alien::alien::alien:

    Fingers crossed we hold that lead! If you haven't voted, do it now!

    If someone could have a look at vote numbers just before midnight it'd be interesting – I'd like to know how many votes we bagged altogether – both us and Sands.

    I'm off to bed now – I'm hoping I'll wake up tomorrow morning to a win. Goodnight! :sleep:

  • Mark April 30, 2013, 11:58 pm

    Two minutes to midnight: 3,621 to 3,503.

  • Sasha May 1, 2013, 7:46 am
    Mark

    Two minutes to midnight: 3,621 to 3,503.

    Thank you! Pending confirmation from Direct Debit, I'm calling that a win! :balloons::balloons::balloons:

    Thank you and well done to everyone who voted. I think that turnout beats our record! That's £2,000 to a charity that's very active and focused on getting biomedical research for us all. I'm sure they'll make that money work very hard for us.

  • snowathlete May 1, 2013, 1:04 pm

    SCORE! (Probably)

    No ME/CFS groups in the May competition which is disappointing.

  • Bob May 1, 2013, 3:32 pm

    Great result everyone!!! :)

    snowathlete

    No ME/CFS groups in the May competition which is disappointing.

    Anyone can nominate any UK charity for the June competition, which is the final monthly competition.
    Perhaps we should think about nominating ME Research UK? I've had a look, and they are eligible.

  • Battery Muncher May 1, 2013, 3:39 pm

    Well done everyone! Amazing turnout!

  • Purple May 1, 2013, 3:44 pm
    snowathlete

    SCORE! (Probably)

    No ME/CFS groups in the May competition which is disappointing.

    Is it not possible to nominate during the voting period? Anyone knows?

  • snowathlete May 1, 2013, 3:51 pm

    Very good

    Purple

    Is it not possible to nominate during the voting period? Anyone knows?

    question. I don't know but maybe

  • Bob May 1, 2013, 4:12 pm
    Purple

    Is it not possible to nominate during the voting period? Anyone knows?

    No: "All nominations will be verified and once approved will go into the public voting for next month."

    https://www.directdebit.co.uk/TheBigBreak/100GoodCauses/Pages/GoodCauses.aspx

  • Sasha May 1, 2013, 4:17 pm
    Bob

    Anyone can nominate any UK charity for the June competition, which is the final monthly competition.
    Perhaps we should think about nominating ME Research UK? I've had a look, and they are eligible.

    They've been nominated for June.

  • Bob May 6, 2013, 1:50 am

    Thought you all might be interested that MEandYou won 1st place, and 25000 Norwegian kroner, in a Norwegian facebook contest. MeandYou are collecting funds for the Rituximab study.
    It's all in Norwegian, but here are the results, in case interested:
    https://www.facebook.com/DanskeBankNorge?sk=app_554822584549676

    25000 kroner = UK£2767 = US$4307

  • snowathlete May 8, 2013, 10:34 am
  • Sasha May 8, 2013, 10:46 am
    snowathlete

    We won!!
    https://www.directdebit.co.uk/TheBigBreak/100GoodCauses/Pages/Monthlywinners.aspx

    Fantastic – it's official!

    Well done again to everyone who voted – brilliant effort! :thumbsup: