Leah Fawthrop, the president of the Hunter Arts Network, has created the fund-raising initiative, Marion’s ARTREE, which she hopes will also increase awareness.

Meniere’s is a disorder of the middle ear that affects hearing and balance and causes vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss. It is unpredictable and difficult to diagnose and manage.

Leah’s sister Marion suffered from this horrible illness & now after five years in memory of her sister and her passion for the arts, Leah now wants to transform her grief into something positive.


Marion’s Artree is a fundraising initiative to raise money to research for a cure for Meniere’s Disease and to support Meniere’s Australia who provide support and counselling for people suffering from Meniere’s Disease.

Money will be raised by selling Art Christmas Decorations: the decorations will be hand made by Artists, Craftworkers and Designers then generously donated for sale on Artrees proposed around the country.

The inaugural 2013 Artree project will be held at the Summer Art Bazaar in Newcastle. Decorations may be sent to Newcastle or displayed on trees in local galleries and/or appropriate public spaces.

What is Meniere’s Disease?

Meniere’s Disease is a condition of the inner ear which is characterised by sudden and recurring violent attacks of unrelenting vertigo, often lasting for hours and in more extreme cases, days. It is also associated with nausea and vomiting together with hearing loss, tinnitus and a blocked up feeling in the affected ear. Between attacks, sufferers will be in good health, although are often very anxious about when the next attack may occur.

About 1 in 500 persons are affected, unfortunately there is an increase in children and young people being diagnosed.

It took over 20 years for the organiser’s sister Marion to be diagnosed. Many people, including Doctors, underestimate the suffering caused by Meniere’s Disease. It affects EVERY part of the sufferer’s life with many unable to work, socialize or, even do normal activities like shopping.

Add to this the indignity when suffering an attack in public, many people assuming you are affected by alcohol. Being able to be diagnosed helps but what will really help is greater funding for finding a cure, greater funding for support groups and through this, hopefully, a greater awareness within the wider community and the Medical community.

Project Outline for Artists

– Artists are invited to donate their time, skill and creativity to create works that can be sold at either the Summer Art Bazaar or within their contracted Gallery.

– All Artists work will be acknowledged and there will be a master list of artists and Galleries available to all media outlets.

– All Artists will be featured on our Facebook page with links to their individual websites and other social media outlets.

To participate in Marion’s ARTREE send an email to marionsartree@yahoo.com.au or visit fb.com/marionsartree