Twelve years ago today, I became ill. To mark the day, I thought of a fun idea that will hopefully also do a lot of good.
I have devised a 100 question ditloid quiz to raise money for two charities that respectively fund research into the two illnesses that I have (severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome). Both illnesses are currently incurable so research is desperately needed to find a cure or effective treatment in order that nobody ever has to suffer like this in the future. You can read about how the illnesses personally affect me and what my life is like here.
A brief description of the two illnesses:
This is when a virus or enterovirus (or an as-yet-undiscovered retrovirus) causes:
• inflammation of the brain, spinal cord and neurons
• immune system deficiency and dysfunction
• mitochondrial malfunction (the body’s energy is manufactured in the mitochondria), which leads to muscle failure (including heart failure), and heavy exhaustion
• damage to and dysfunction of the heart
• dysfunction of the digestive system, including poor absorption
• extreme sensitivity to noise, light and movement
The hallmark of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is deterioration upon any slight activity/exertion/movement. Gradually trying to increase your activity can cause permanent damage. The severity of the disease varies greatly. Unfortunately, I have a severe case and am bed-bound, unable to sit up and unable to speak. My heart is so unstable and my condition so fragile that my body cannot be moved.
Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (vEDS) is a mutation of the gene COL3A1. This mutation alters the structure, production and processing of a protein in the body called collagen. A significant amount of the body is made up of collagen; it provides structure and holds our bodies together. This is why having faulty collagen is such a big problem and why my body is falling apart in so many ways. As you get older, the condition deteriorates. This is why it is getting increasingly difficult for me to breathe and swallow (dysphagia), why my eyesight is worsening and why I have faulty heart valves.
The vascular type of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which is what I have, is life-threatening and the majority of people with vEDS don’t live beyond their forties. This is because the blood vessels and hollow organs in a person with vEDS are fragile and prone to spontaneous rupture, due to the defective and weakened collagen. This is why I have had such a problem with severe uterine haemorrhages.
It is important that paramedics and doctors be educated about vEDS so that in an event of a rupture, patients be dealt with correctly and quickly, which is key to our survival. For example, aortic dissection is pretty common among vEDS patients but it can easily be mistaken for a heart attack so it’s essential that awareness amongst the medical profession be raised.
In my 100 Question Quiz, for which there are ten fantastic prizes available, there are various categories and each question is a sort of word puzzle or ditloid, in which a phrase must be deduced from the initials of each word and numbers in the clue. For example:
8 L on a S = eight legs on a spider
7 C in the R = seven colours in the rainbow
a S in T S 9 = a stitch in time saves nine
2 H A B T 1 = two heads are better than one
How to enter the quiz:
1. Donate £10 via this donation page. Feel free to donate as much money as you can though (but the amount of money won’t affect your chances of winning the quiz). Remember to put your name on your donation and not leave it as anonymous (you’ll understand why in step 3).
2. Do the quiz, which is below.
3. Send your name and your answers to the quiz to this email address [email protected], which will be run by my parents (I’m too ill to administrate). You need to include your name within the email; this name will then be checked against the names on the donation page, to verify whether £10 (or more) has been donated. Any entry that does not pay the money, will not be valid. There can only be one entry per person.
The money raised will be split equally between the two charities M.E. Research UK and Annabelle’s Challenge. The donation page is here: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/100questionquiz.
You have one month to complete the quiz. The competition ends on 1st January 2017. All quiz entries must be received before midnight on that day. The winners will be announced a couple of weeks afterwards, along with the answers to the quiz.
There are 10 prizes for the 10 people with the highest number of correct answers to the quiz. If there are more than 10 people with the joint highest score, then those people will have their names put in a hat and 10 will be drawn out to decide the prizes.
The 10 prizes:
• Two exclusive tickets for VIP seats to the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Here are the details of the prize, which was kindly donated by The Blair Partnership (a literary agency that represents JK Rowling):
Exclusive Tickets to the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two.
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
The play is performed in two parts – so this prize is to see both parts consecutively on a date in 2017 to be agreed with the winner. This prize includes 2 tickets for VIP seats.
These tickets are non-transferrable, non-refundable and not for resale and may not be used in any commercial promotion, marketing or event.
The prize does not include transportation or accommodation.
• A Lulu Guinness Lips clutch bag, kindly donated by Lulu Guinness – www.luluguinness.com
• A Kindle Paperwhite and an Amazon Fire TV Stick – these two prizes were both kindly donated by Dixons Carphone
• A voucher for one game at HintHunt for a three-person team, kindly donated by HintHunt – www.hinthunt.co.uk
HintHunt® is a new simple and fun live escape game, designed for small groups of 3-5 people. You get 60 minutes to climb a mountain of puzzles and mysteries in a tiny room. The goal is simple yet challenging: get out in time! Else … you could be trapped inside forever! During this engaging and challenging game team members truly live and breathe in union for an hour.
• A voucher for Afternoon Tea for Two at The Swan Hotel in Southwold, Suffolk (kindly donated by The Swan Hotel)
• A guided tour of Winchester Cathedral with your own private tour guide, kindly donated by Winchester Cathedral
• A gift voucher for 5 graze boxes, kindly donated by graze – www.graze.com
Sponge cakes are an award winning online cake company delivering scrummy hand-made Sponges to your door next day anywhere in the UK with prices starting from just £7.50 delivered.
Their Sponges are made using proper ingredients, with love and care in small batches. They are mad, crazy, bonkers about SPONGE and hope that you will absolutely love every mouthful.
• A painting by Michael F Rumsby, kindly donated by the artist himself – www.michaelfrumsby.com
So, have fun. It’s for a good cause. And you might win one of the fantastic prizes. If you get stuck, you can always have a go at the quiz with your family and friends over Christmas. Good luck!
My 100 question quiz:
Round 1: General
1. 12 L of H
2. S W and the 7 D
3. 80 D A the W
4. 366 D in a L Y
5. 26 L in the A
6. 1 R to R T A, 1 R to F T, 1 R to B T A and in the D B T
7. 3 H of C
8. 4 and 20 B B in a P
9. 6 W of H the 8th
10. 206 B in the H B
11. a R B 2 T
12. 10 G B H on the W
13. 118 E in the P T
14. 1 E and 1 T among the 3 G
15. 88 K on a P
16. 18 H on a G C
W S W 3 M A?
In T, L, or in R?
18. 90 D in a R A
19. 7 W of the W
20. 100 Q in this Q
Round 2: first lines from books
21. M and M D, of N 4 P D, W P to S T T W P N, T Y V M.
22. I I a T U A, T a S M in P of a G F, M B in W of a W.
23. I W the B of T, I W the W of T
24. All C, E 1, G U.
25. In a H in the G T L a H.
Round 3: film titles
26. 3 M and a B
27. 16 C
28. 9 M
29. H to L a G in 10 D
30. 13 G O 30
31. 4 W and a F
32. 2 W N
33. 7 Y in T
34. 101 D
35. 7 B F 7 B
36. 10 T I H A Y
37. The L 1
38. I A N 4
39. 27 D
40. 17 A
41. 50 F D
42. S for 10
43. O 11
44. The 12 T of A
Round 4: Star Trek
45. L L and P
46. M it S
47. The N of the M O the N of the F
48. S P to S
49. R is F
50. W S, M S
51. A, T B W H!
52. 5 C: J T K, J-L P, B S, K J, J A
Round 5: Star Wars
53. I H a B F A T
54. L the W W
55. A Y a L S for a S?
56. H M O-W K. Y M O H.
57. T N M, I a S S
58. The F is S W T 1
59. U the F, L
60. L it U, F
Round 6: Harry Potter
61. H S of W and W
62. P 9 and 3 Q
63. 3 D H: the E W, the R S and the C of I
64. I S S T I A U to N G
65. 4 F of H: G G, R R, H H, S S
66. E P
67. 9 W: A, M, B, C, P, F & G, R, G
68. 4 C of the T T: V K, F D, C D and H P
69. The M of E
70. I M N T L
71. 7 P on a Q T: 3 C, 2 B, 1 K, 1 S
72. A K
73. H of H: A P W B D
74: 12 G P
75. N! B! O! T!
76. W C all H B K — or W, E.
77. I D N D to D on D and F to L
Round 7: song titles from animated Disney films
78. I M a M O of Y
79. N in N
80. W I S an E F
81. Y B in my H
82. C Y F the L T
83. I S the L
84. F the F T in F
85. G the D
86. 1 J A
87. O U a D
88. G H the O
Round 8: Doctor Who
89. W W T W
91. W Y L a J B?
92. B T A C
Round 9: The Bible
93. 929 C in the O T
94. 10 P of E
95. 5 L and 2 F
96. 12 S of J
97. The T: F, S, and H S
98. 30 P of S
99. 5 B in the B with 1 C: O, P, 2 J, 3 J, J
100. 9 F of the S
———— END OF QUIZ ———–
[NB I’ve been gradually writing this blog post since August by jabbing out one or two sentences per day with my thumb on the screen of this iPhone. Even doing it slowly like this has made my hands, wrists and forearms deteriorate badly. So I probably won’t be able to pick up my iPhone for a long time after this so won’t be able to check my email, twitter or facebook.]