The Story Behind the Story… #crowdfunding

The story behind Cubing for CFS

The story behind Cubing for CFS

You may have noticed that I’ve launched the crowdfunding campaign for my next book, Cubing for CFS. You can see the campaign and support it here. This is the next story coming from Green Oaks Primary School, and is inspired by a true story.

The story that inspired this book began two years ago when my then nine year old came down with glandular fever. Initially, I thought it was a bad cold and he was just being melodramatic, but it got much worse and we were recommended to take him to hospital where they diagnosed glandular fever.

We were told that because he was nine, he would bounce back in a couple of weeks. It was three weeks before the school holidays, so we thought that with five weeks off school he would be back to normal…. we were wrong!

Fast forward to February this year. My now 11 year old was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, more commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. You can read more about this illness here. It’s more common in teenagers and adults, but there are younger kids who have it too.

As I do, one of the first things I wanted to do was to find some stories for him to read that feature kids with this illness. I searched high and low, asking in bookshops, libraries and online, and we couldn’t find any!

Earlier this year, my 13 year old learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube. This is a skill I never mastered, but he has. He always has a cube or two in his pocket and he practices all the time. (We have also been looking for books that have kids into cubing and haven’t been able to find any either!) He was also worried about his brother and, once we had a diagnosis, wanted to come to an appointment with the specialist so that he could understand what was going on, as well as find a way to explain it to people at school who wanted to know why his brother wasn’t at school.

On the way home from this appointment, my 13 year old decided to see how many times he could solve his cube between the end of the Bolte Bridge and home. He solved the cube 54 times, and a fundraising idea was born.

He decided to do a fundraiser at his school to raise awareness about CFS, as well as raise funds for Emerge Australia. He came up with the idea himself, contacted Emerge Australia and his school, spoke with the SRC, and got everything organised by himself. On the day, a crowd turned out to support him and he raised over $200 by solving his cube 65 times in half an hour.

Running the fundraiser helped him to do something to help his brother and helped him with his worries.

When it came time to write my next story, I thought this would be a good one, even though not many kids have CFS, the lessons we learned may be useful to other families. These include:

  • If one child is unwell for an extended period of time, let their siblings come to appointments (if they want to) so they can ask questions and get information. They will be worried about their sibling and knowledge can help.
  • Let them do something. For us, it was a fundraiser. My 13 year old is already planning a fundraiser for next year, as well as one at my next book launch! It could be a fundraiser, or volunteering somewhere, or… they may come up with an idea.

This is the story behind Cubing for CFS. It is inspired by a true story and it talks about CFS and cubing.

You can pre-order your copy of Cubing for CFS by supporting my crowdfunding campaign here. As well as getting a book, you can also get some cubes, and 10% of all money raised will go to Emerge Australia to help their work supporting people with CFS.

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  1. Good luck with this! I won a rubik’s cube in primary school for a maths competition many years ago. That was my first meeting with the cube.

  2. Wow. What an awesome brother. You must be doing a fantastic job to have raised such a thoughtful and motivated young person who cares so much for his sibling. This is a great story. I’m sharing on Twitter now.

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