A Cahir based blogger is quickly carving out a career for herself as a leading social media influencer after landing a much coveted role as a style reporter for Dublin Fashion Week.
In a few short months, 19 year old Caoimhe Hickey from Cahir has become a major name to watch in fashion and lifestyle circles with her blog “It’s all about M.E.” which details her favourite fashion looks and lifestyle posts as well as her battle with the debilitating disease M.E.
“I didn’t expect things to take off so quickly. I was blogging for a very short time when I entered a competition for aspiring bloggers and then things just blew up from there,” Caoimhe tells the Tipperary Star.
“I’ve always been interested in writing and I had to write down how I was feeling every day for the doctor anyway so one day I decided why don’t I tell other people and help create awareness of M.E,” she says of her rollercoaster summer which saw the blogger win two nationwide competitions to be ultimately named as a Frockadvisor Galaxy Style Reporter for Dublin Fashion week.
Indeed in the four short months since Caoimhe’s blog has gone live, ‘It’s All About M.E.’ has racked up hundred’s of subscribers while her Facebook posts attract thousands of hits every week for her musings on all things beauty, health and lifestyle related.
“I try to introduce something different every week so it’s not the same type of thing I’m writing about. I wrote one post recently called ‘The WEIGH to go’ and it was about how I dress for my weight because I’m a size 16 and all my friends are a size six or eight. I put up an outfit that I bought for under €50 showing how I like to dress for my shape and that got 3,000 views within 24 hours.”
And while many know Caoimhe for her impeccably applied make up and on trend style, the budding journalist’s blog posts detailing her battle with M.E. and how it affects her day to day life has also been creating an online buzz.
“I post once a month on my illness and how I’m feeling and what it’s like to live with M.E. because it is an invisible illness and I’ve gotten emails and messages from other sufferers which is encouraging,” she says.
Caoimhe was first diagnosed with M.E. or ‘Myalgic Encephalomyelitis’ in 2012 just as she was about to sit her Junior Cert exams. Caoimhe says the disease affects sufferers with bouts of “extreme fatigue”- both physical and mental in turn leaving those with the illness more susceptible to muscle weakness, breathing problems and colds and flu’s.
However Caoimhe’s diagnosis was a battle in itself as doctors initially believed she was suffering with a rare, inoperable brain tumour. Thankfully scans showed the all clear yet medical teams could still not pinpoint the cause of Caoimhe’s illness.
“I still remember doctors saying ‘oh she’s just tired, every teenager’s like that, she’s just growing. It’s just hormones; she’s bound to be moody.’ We felt like we were going insane,” she explains.
Following her diagnosis Caoimhe was advised not to follow her friends into fifth year and instead take a year out of her studies to join her schools transition year programme.
“Once I got to fifth year I was only making it to school about two days a week. I was always being told don’t worry, you can always repeat the leaving cert,” something which frustrated the high achieving student.
“People just didn’t understand that M.E is not something that goes away overnight. It’s something you live with for the rest of your life but you adapt to it.”
“I decided in fifth year I would take a break after the Leaving Cert and it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I did very well in my exams and I could have taken the risk and gone to college but I knew I needed that break.”
However as Caoimhe watched her friends go off to college with daily updates of their nights out plastered over Facebook she began to feel that she was missing out and decided to enrol in a short broadcasting course with Beat 102-103FM.
“I was the only one at home while all my friends were enjoying college life. I decided to do the course so I had something to show for the year and from the beginning I knew it was the right fit,” she says.
And since being snapped up as a red carpet style reporter, Caoimhe had also landed her own slot on Tipp FM every Tuesday at 2.30pm discussing everything from entertainment to news and beauty.
“I have my own slot during one of the weekday shows where I chat about a wide range of topics so I’m thrilled to have started that,” the budding entertainment reporter adds.
“These past few weeks have been hectic but I’m enjoying every minute of it. I know I have to take care of my health and not overdo it but I just couldn’t be happier. I used to be so worried about what I was going to do with my life but as soon as I stopped freaking out about it, it all fell into place.”
To follow Caoimhe’s journey online visit her blog at itsallaboutmech.blogspot.ie or @itsAllAboutMeCH on Facebook