January 2023 Update 🎉

After eBay seller fees were deducted, the total raised from the Secret Artist Postcard Auction was £5059.22, which has been added to the total on GoFundMe. A massive thank you to all the artists and to all the bidders for helping to make it such a success. What an amazing amount to have raised!

A big thank you also to:

• Linda Rogers for photographing all the artwork and helping, along with Grace Lee, to package up the artworks ready to post off.
• Steve Culverhouse for watermarking all the photos of the art and for putting them on eBay and creating the listings for each piece. Also for running the eBay side of things.
• James Cooper for running Jenny’s website and being the tech wizard who made the eBay listings appear on Jenny’s website.

For those curious about which art was created by the famous faces involved:

This was the painting by Tracey Emin, which sold for £1470:

The piece by Martin Brown (Horrible Histories illustrator):

The one by Lee Mack:

By Jonathan Ross:

By Michael Rumsby:

By Nick Sharatt:

The 3 pieces by Paul Magrs:

You can see for how much each of the other pieces of art sold here on eBay.

We have now been attempting to fundraise the money for Jenny’s surgeries and Medevac air ambulances for nearly 3 years. It was an emergency crisis-needed surgery at the time and Jenny has only deteriorated since then. The extra damage that is done to her neck every day that she doesn’t have the desperately needed neurosurgery and the extent to which Jenny pushes herself to stay alive is haunting and horrific to watch. What she does every day is superhuman. Jenny’s beloved father, Ian, suddenly and unexpectedly died in October. He will now never see her get the surgery that he passionately and determinedly helped raise money for.

We are so very grateful to everyone who has donated and/or spread the word. There is still a long way to go to reach the target amount needed. Now, more than ever, we hope that you will help us to keep fundraising and fulfil the life-saving dream that Ian, and all of us, have for Jenny. She cannot be left in this inhuman and unbearable condition.

If you feel like doing your own fundraiser for the cause, we would be very grateful, whether you decide to hop on one foot from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, or whether you create a 20 foot tall Jenny the Giraffe, or whether your choir performs a concert to aid the cause. (Or, more normal fundraising activities too! Just trying to get ideas flowing by suggesting slightly bananas ideas). We’re trying to make as much noise as possible to get Jenny to New York for the neurosurgery.

Why Jenny urgently needs surgery:

During her first term at university in 2004, Jenny became ill with a virus that caused severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord), causing her to become bed-bound and acutely ill for the last 18 years. She has been unable to sit up or speak, struggling to breathe and swallow.

In May 2015, after genetic testing, she was also diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. This genetic disorder causes the body to produce faulty collagen. The biggest problem for Jenny is that the faulty collagen has caused the ligaments and connective tissue in her neck to become lax, which means that it can’t support her skull. So the vertebrae and skull move around and subluxate (subluxation is like dislocation); blood flow is severely reduced, causing increasing numbness.

This neck instability became life-threatening and Jenny had to have an operation in January 2020 to try to fuse her neck in place to save her life, as well as a decompression surgery for Chiari Malformation. Unfortunately the fusion surgery was not a success and she became a lot more disabled and it’s too dangerous to move her neck or head at all. The only neurosurgeon in the world who specialises in fusion (and fusion revision) surgeries and invasive bolt traction testing to determine the correct fusion position for highly complex Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome patients, is in the USA. Jenny has been clinging to life by the skin of her teeth while trying to hang on to fundraise enough money for the three surgeries that this neurosurgeon has said that she needs to have a hope of staying alive and regaining some sort of quality of life, as well as the money for the Medevac air ambulance needed to get there. Her fundraising page is here, where it goes into detail on the exact surgery procedures she needs: https://gofundme.com/savejenny

Jenny hasn’t been able to move her head off her pillow since the unsuccessful fusion surgery. She can’t look down, up or side to side. She can’t be washed or have her pyjamas or bedding changed because if she moves her neck even a tiny bit in the wrong direction, it causes massive extra damage and blood flow is reduced further. Any extra bit of damage could very easily kill her. Nurses have tried and failed to wash her or change her clothes without seriously harming her neck further. So she has to be left unwashed, which is horrific. The subluxing vertebrae have moved the neck into a structure that partially obstructs her airway and she is always in respiratory distress as a result. There is nothing more any doctor in the UK can do for her. So she has been left in this condition until we can raise the money needed to be treated by the specialist surgeon in New York.

Only a patch of ceiling directly above Jenny is within her field of vision. The only part of her body that she’s seen since the operation are her hands, which she can briefly raise to her eyes to see but she can’t look down to see anything else. She’s rarely able to look at the screen of her phone, even though she tries to hold it up directly above her head to put it in her field of vision, because doing so damages her neck more.