Do you have facial paralysis, or do you have a child, a family member or a close friend affected by facial palsy? Facial Palsy UK is interested in hearing your personal stories. It will help our charity raise awareness of this little-known condition and secure more funding for research and treatment.
Why you should speak up
Some people with facial palsy can feel deeply isolated because of their inability to smile, to join in the laughter, to show their feelings. Sharing your story on our website will be a huge support for others living with facial palsy: they will realise that they are not alone and that many other people experience, and can understand, what they are going through.
These few quotes show the importance of speaking up to raise awareness:
Marvin (former soldier):
I’ve been to war, I consider myself to be a ‘proper proper man’, yet Bell’s palsy shook me to my foundations. The psychological impact on someone with this condition is immense; it really damages your self-esteem and confidence.
Facial palsy can be very isolating. What do I wish I had known before all this? That there are many other people with facial palsy and that we all are trying to find ways to adjust to it.
How to tell your story
You may wish to share your experiences confidentially with us, or you may wish to share them publicly on the website – we will need your written consent for this, as well as for using any images you send us. See stories already shared in our personal stories section.
You may also wish to become one of our media volunteers.
As a guideline, you could try and include all or some of the following information when you write your personal story:
- Your name (we will not publish your real name if you don’t wish us to).
- Your age, or age range
- The area you live in.
- Your occupation/hobbies.
- How facial palsy changed your life.
- How you have been helped by a particular treatment. Please note we do not share stories about treatments which are not routinely offered via the NHS.
- Any advice you have for other patients, for the medical profession and for the general public.
- What your hopes are for the future – be it treatments, changing attitudes for the better, etc.
Important note: We are unable to name health professionals or hospitals where you have received treatment in your personal story. Please refer to someone by their job title, e.g. plastic surgeon. If you want to mention a hospital please write, for example, ‘I was treated at a hospital in the east of England’. If you are writing your story to be used in the media then you can name health professionals and hospitals.
Ideally, your story shouldn’t be longer than 1200 words but it doesn’t really matter if it is a bit longer or shorter.
If you would like to include pictures with your story then you will need to complete an image consent form and return it to us. You can download one here.
Please also provide the following information:
- How this information is to be used by Facial Palsy UK (in confidence or on our website)
- If you would like to be featured in the media as well, please complete our Case Study Request form instead of the image consent form. Before making a decision about media we recommend you read our Media Volunteers page.
- Your contact details, strictly for our own use.
Please send your personal stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last reviewed: 25-11-2017 || Next review due: 25-11-2019