In response to the series FODMAP I was approached by the ME/CVS Stichting Nederland. They asked me to photograph 12 covers for their new information brochures, in the form of 12 portraits of different people with ME/CFS. The portraits are colorful and emphasize hope and positivity, rather than showing how unfortunate the illness is. I have photographed these people with something that means a lot to them, and despite this unfortunate illness, gives them a positive outlook on life.

ME/CFS is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It is a non-congenital, chronic and complex multi-system disease. People with ME/CFS are not only exhausted and tired, but also have other chronic complaints, including (often) pain. Source: ME/CVS Stichting Nederland.

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In this photo, Kelly was pregnant with her now-born baby. In her hands, with a heavy heart, she holds the cuddly toy of her previous, deceased child.
Latisha’s kitten gives her hope. Not only did it help with her illness, but also emotionally in a number of personal situations.
Before Mikey suffered from ME/CFS (among other things), his greatest passion was dancing. Actually it still is, but unfortunately dancing is not so simple anymore.
The tattoo on Jane’s arm means a lot to her. What the underlying story is, she couldn’t tell me.
There is no denying it: this gentleman cannot live without music. Upon entering I immediately saw an amplifier and about 6 bass guitars.
Stephanie and her dog are inseparable. Fortunately, that makes her life with ME/CFS a little more bearable.
Creativity means a lot to this madam. Even before I took the picture, she was already painting in relaxation.
Despite her illness, Esther gets a smile on her face every day thanks to her stunning dog.
Due to her illness, among other things, Wiesje receives a lot of cards from friends and family. She told me that at times when things aren’t going well, she likes to read these cards.
Ankie has her own art studio and finds relaxation in creating drawings. She told me she doesn’t do it for anyone else but herself, others don’t have to like it.
Britt is grateful that despite her illness she still feels well enough to study.
Carsten told me he finds hope in his dreams, in which he can do everything he otherwise cannot physically do. As soon as he wakes up, he immediately writes down the memories from his dreams onto paper.