Fight Fatigue Syndrome

Posted: May 12, 1995

Today is International CFIDS Awareness Day. Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome is a devastating disease that can affect men, women and children. No one is immune.

This date was chosen in honor of Florence Nightingale, the English army nurse who inspired the founding of the Red Cross. In her mid-30s, she contracted a CFIDS-like illness and spent the last 50 years of her life bedridden.

The symptoms include severe, constant fatigue, insomnia, muscle aches and

pains, neurological and cognitive problems, headaches, chest pains, etc., to name just a few.

At present, there is no effective treatment or cure. Diagnosis relies on a list of physical findings, symptoms and criteria.

The exact cause is not known. Many researchers feel a combination of factors such as viruses, genetic predisposition and environment all play a part. There is evidence of an immune system dysfunction in CFIDS patients.

CFIDS can last months, years or a lifetime. I have had CFIDS for over 17 years and at times it seems as though I was born with this disease.

The number of sufferers is growing daily. The exact number is not known but thought to be in the millions.

We need your help and an increase in funds directed to the study of CFIDS. You can help by writing your senators and representatives. Research holds the hope of a cure for all of us.

CFIDS has an impact on society also. How many had to give up their dreams of becoming a doctor, nurse, teacher, etc? How much does it cost to have to go to specialist after specialist?

Living with any chronic illness is difficult, but the ignorance that surrounds CFIDS makes it even more difficult. CFIDS is not normal tiredness, which some assume, due to the name. It is a real, physical disease. There are still doctors who have no knowledge of this disease or don't believe in it.

We beg you to study the facts. The Center for Disease Control has recognized CFIDS since the mid-'80s, though it is not a new disease and has been around many years under different names such as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Epstein-Barr Virus, etc.

CFIDS has destroyed many lives, careers, marriages and dreams of the future. There is nothing that CFIDS can't destroy. Let's put a stop to the ignorance and misunderstanding that surrounds this disease right now. Join with us in our fight to conquer CFIDS. And for those battling this disease, don't give up.

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