Making the ‘invisible’ visible

Songstress and healer, Ernestine Deane, will open ceremonies at the Sick Pride Pyjama Picnic on Sunday November 12 at Arderne Gardens at 2pm. PICTURE: KAREN KOTZE

The inaugural SICK Pride will take place in Claremont on Sunday November 12 and everyone suffering from energy-limited chronic illness is invited.

This event is organised by SICK (the Society for the Inclusion of Chronic Knowledge) supported by MELCUSA (ME and Long Covid Unite South Africa, formerly the ME CFS Foundation South Africa) and endorsed by the World ME Alliance.

Many energy-impaired people with ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or Long Covid struggle to stand up and breathe at the same time, so event organisers say they can’t parade “but they can lounge in style and therefore this year’s theme is ”Pyjama Picnic“.

Participants will be lying around on the lawns at Arderne Gardens, situated at 222 Main Road, Claremont, from 2pm to 4pm. Come in your favourite bed-wear, bring blankets and snacks and get comfy.

All “Spoonies” are welcome, whether you are suffering from ME, Long Covid, Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), Fibromyalgia, Ehlers Danlos syndrome (EDS) or any condition where you have to pace yourself to survive – as are carers and allies. The site is wheelchair accessible and there will be a Covid-safe shady space for the immuno-compromised and severely sick.

SICK Pride organisers, Mlindeni Gabela and Sam Pearce, showing their SICK Pride T-shirts. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

The rallying cry from the organisers is to: “Let’s make ‘invisible illness’ visible in South Africa”.

For some they say this will be the only time that they leave their homes this year, and the effort may cost them weeks to recover. “So this will be an opportunity to revel in Sick Joy as we come together to celebrate our persistence despite all the challenges,”’ say organisers Mlindeni Gabela and Sam Pearce.

Acclaimed Cape Town songstress and ancestral healer Ernestine Deane will be opening Sick Pride with a ritual for rest, Dr Uvi Naidoo will speak and gospel singer Nosie Dyantyi-Mwanda will be offering soulful prayers for healing. Expect green calm, soothing birdsong and uplifting company.

The organisers have cautioned participants not to risk relapse to attend – if you are too ill to manage two hours out of the house, recruit someone to come and represent you, carrying your picture to make your presence felt. They will be sharing images online. SICK T shirts will be available for a donation.

For more information, contact Mlindeni Gabela on 078 937 9393 or email Sam Pearce