A performing arts alumna from Edge Hill University has used her experiences of learning to live with ME to write a hit album from her bed to boost awareness for the condition and raise money for charity.
Kara Jane Spencer, who graduated from Edge Hill in 2012, suffers from a severe form of ME, limiting her ability to do what she loves. In the last few years, her health has deteriorated rapidly, leaving her bedridden.
Despite her poor health Kara was determined to make music and has now achieved her goal of recording her very own original album.
“Producing this album has been an ambition of mine for a long time, it’s certainly been difficult at times. ME is a balancing act, some days I can do a few small activities from my bed, but others I’m totally paralysed. But with a little help, I’ve now got an album and if we can raise a decent amount of money, I’ll be proud of that.”
Kara, who describes her time at Edge Hill University as “the best years of my life”, says studying for her Performing Arts degree gave her drive and determination to perform and create music.
She has spent the last two years writing, singing and recording from her bed and completed the album with the help of professional musicians and music producers, many of whom were out of work because of Covid-19.
The nine-track album, It’s Still M.E, is on sale now and is currently the number 1 singer-songwriter album on iTunes and is also number 1 on Amazon. To buy the album click here.
During Kara’s time at Edge Hill, she worked with the Students’ Union and University’s Inclusion Team to improve life for disabled students and in her second year she was awarded the Reverend Jesse Jackson Scholarship for students who have overcome disability or disadvantage to get into higher education.
Reflecting on her time at Edge Hill, Kara said: “I had a great time studying at Edge Hill, I learnt so much and my lecturers, fellow students and all the staff were really supportive. I’d always enjoyed singing and studying for my degree helped me decide it was what I wanted to do.”
Commenting on his former student’s success, lecturer Bill Hopkinson said: “Kara’s achievement is truly remarkable in overcoming her illness and developing her creative engagement. But much more than that, this is a first album of considerable assurance and maturity.
“She is fulfilling the tremendous promise she demonstrated as an undergraduate. These songs are moving, memorable and a delight.”
Kara hopes to raise £100,000 for the ME Association’s Tissue Bank Appeal, click here to make a donation and help her reach her target. For more information about Kara’s music and where to find it, visit karajanesings.com.
To find out more about studying courses in performing arts, music production and musical theatre at Edge Hill, visit edgehill.ac.uk/performingarts/courses or to find out more about scholarships, visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/scholarships.