My name is Kara Jane Spencer
January 2023: We are heartbroken to announce that Kara has passed away. Please see the announcement here.
In July 2020, Kara wrote:
I’m a singer songwriter from the UK, with a special dream: to raise £100,000 for medical research. My first album is out now, and the entire proceeds will go towards research into severe ME, an illness which has had a devastating effect on my life.
I was diagnosed with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) after suddenly losing the ability to walk at 16. Until then I was healthy and active – “loud, crazy and always laughing”, in the words of my sister. My condition steadily deteriorated, until seven years ago I became completely bedridden. (My story is told in more detail here.)
Every day I’m in agonising pain. I need oxygen to help me breathe and require constant nursing care. I’m frequently admitted to hospital with serious infections, and a few years ago doctors warned me that my life expectancy could be very limited.
From this place of suffering and despair, my album was born.
Recording the album
I began writing music to express my pain, and a family friend helped me to record the songs from my bed. As I’m too ill to sing more than a line or two at a time, completing the vocals took a couple of years.
In May 2020, a BBC appeal resulted in over 100 musicians and producers coming forward to offer their help in completing the album. An amazing team have dedicated the last few months to working on my music. Thanks to them, my dream of releasing an album has now come true.
For a long time I didn’t think I’d live long enough to see my album finished. I can never express my gratitude to everyone who has given their time and talent free of charge. (Read more about them here.)
What the album means to me
The album means an incredible amount to me. It represents my journey so far: it’s about loss, anger and pain – but most of all it’s about love.
It has been my way of processing all that I’ve been through with severe ME. It’s also my legacy to leave to the world long after I am gone. It’s my achievement and means that my life was not wasted. If it can then keep doing good with every sale, that is what makes me smile. It’s what I will live for each day.
My hope for the album
I want to raise £100,000 to help the ME Association take the first steps towards establishing a post-mortem research facility. (More details here.) My sincere wish is that my album will help lead to a medical breakthrough. Research into ME has been terribly underfunded, and little is known about those who die from the illness.
I want to achieve wider awareness of the severity of ME, and of the fact it can be life-threatening at its most severe.
But this is not an album about illness. The themes in my music will resonate with everyone, no matter what their situation in life. Ultimately this is an album about love.
How to support me
Thank you so much for your support – it means the world to me. Please sign up below and follow me on social media to receive updates.