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How We Met: 'I Was Trying To Look Sexy While I Explained I Had A Chronic Illness'
Tuesday 23 June 2020
From UK newspaper The Guardian:
How we met: 'I was trying to look sexy while I explained I had a chronic illness'
Jenny Brownlees, 30, and Adam Meritt, 33, met at an ME charity event in 2008. They now live together in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne.
When Jenny Brownlees became unwell with chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as ME) in her teens, she never thought love would be part of her future. “By the time I turned 18, I was virtually housebound. I’d left school, and I was constantly in pain.” Despite her illness, she says, her neighbour Adam Meritt caught her eye. “It sounds crazy, but when I saw him out of the window, I said I loved him.” He had also spotted her and was keen to get to know her.
In early 2008, Jenny and Adam, who lived in Newcastle upon Tyne, attended an event to raise funds for a local ME charity. “My twin brother was doing the photography, so I decided to go,” he says. “I knew Jenny would be there, and I wanted a chance to meet her.” At the time, he had no idea she was unwell. Sparks flew as soon as they met, and they chatted away for the next four hours.
“There was this awful Elvis impersonator, and we laughed all night,” Jenny says. She also told him about her condition. “It’s hard to know when the right time is. I was sitting there trying to look sexy while I explained that I had a chronic illness.” Adam admits he didn’t know much about it. “It sounded scary, but I didn’t care. I just knew I really liked her.” The prognosis was bleak, and doctors were doubtful she would make a recovery. “I think I always knew she’d get better and, even if she didn’t, I would have cared for her anyway.”
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