In September 2016 my poetry collection, Sunshine was published whilst my marriage was breaking down and amidst turmoil I found I had to leave and was without a home for some time, sleeping on sofas and desperately trying to find money and a place to live. I settled in a friend's flat in her spare room but became very unwell which severely impacted on my ability to earn any money or even look after myself, and I will be having drastic surgery on the 18th September to hopefully help the incurable disease I have though it might not be a simple process and further surgery and treatment may be required. Since I became very weak I moved in with a friend who has cared for me and even helped me to and from the toilet at a time I wasn't able to care for myself adequately at all. During all this time I have tried hard to see as much of my two children as I can though with illness, a mental breakdown following an assault I suffered, continued emotional turmoil and intense stress brought on by personal and professional disappointments and pressures, it has become more and more difficult and the financial strain eventually made it almost impossible to live at all, or be with them. I desperately want to move back to Lancashire after my surgery to be with my children, but as I will be unable to lift things, move things, and as I am struggling financially, I need to pay someone to drive a van with my possessions to Lancashire and I need to put a deposit on a house with the initial rent, then furnish it and start a new, much happier life where I belong, close to them, and where I can hopefully receover from my illness and have a better quality of life, which would make my children so much happier. My friends have gone above and beyond to support me during this time and I am beyond grateful to them. At the moment it boils down to lacking the financial stability to make my life comfortable and my children happier. If anyone feels they can help in any way, even if it's just £1, I would be so grateful, but if you are struggling yourself, please don't give me any money as I would hate anyone else to struggle on my behalf.
This campaign ran and the response was overwhelming. I managed to move into a lovely house and see my son very regularly, and have four lovely cats who keep us entertained and cuddled. My health deteriorated further, very unexpectedly, and I have the symptoms of a neurological condition which I am on a lot of medication for, and now have to use a wheelchair at times. It's made it impossible to work, and although I manage to write sometimes my life has changed irrevocably. I'd very much like to raise some money to get more mobile, perhaps buy a cheap wheelchair with bigger wheels as at the moment I have to be pushed and I am quite heavy. I'd like to be able to take my family on some trips as we've all had a trememndously stressful and difficult time, and it's harder to do with no money and little mobility. If anyone wants to donate I'll keep this open but people who have already give should really not feel obliged. The crisis is over but I need to try to repair now. Another way to help is by looking at my ebay shop where I'm selling my wardrobe to raise money for us: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/melisslee-houghto-0
Thank you for reading and please know that all the support I've received has changed my life.