King of Prussia, Pa.
What do chemistry and dominos have in common?
You might answer, “Um … nothing?”
But Jennie Spotila makes the connection. “Catalysts set off reactions, and I'm hoping for a chain reaction in CFS research,” she says. “I see it like pushing the first domino in a long line of dominoes – push the right one and they all fall down in succession. That's what the Association is poised to do with its research program.”
Sick more than 17 years, this former Association board chair has supported the organization nearly as long as her illness has lasted. “I was working as an attorney in Philadelphia and woke up one morning with a sore throat. Within a few hours, I felt like I had been run over by a tank. It felt like the worst flu ever, but it did not go away. I tried to keep working but had to give that up after a few months. I’m housebound, unable to drive or do errands, clean my house, or even cook every day. I rarely travel, have very little social life and deal with pain, fatigue, post-exertional malaise and other symptoms on a daily basis,” Spotila explains. “I began supporting the Association in the mid-1990s because I believed it was the only national organization focusing on the right thing: changing the way this illness is researched and treated.”
Spotila led the Association’s board as it reshaped the organization’s strategy and focus. Her “insider’s view” convinced her that this organization “has the knowledge, ideas, connections and people that can make better diagnosis and treatment a reality.”
Like other Catalysts, she is all about the research: “Research is the key that unlocks the door to my health and the health of millions of others. Research is the only thing that can deliver objective diagnosis and effective treatment. Research is our only hope, and there has been far too little of it.”
What do research and hope have in common? This connection is a little clearer. “Any hope that CFS patients have to get well depends on high quality and innovative research. Supporting the Catalyst Fund puts dollars behind that kind of research,” says Spotila. “The people who care about CFS patients can help us so much by supporting this research.”
Jennie blogs regularly about CFS and issues it raises at http://www.occupycfs.com/.
Click here to learn more about THECatalystFUND and to read other Catalyst profiles.
Your gift to THECatalystFUND will help speed discovery and transform the way that CFS research is conducted. Online gifts can be made through our secure donations page at: http://bit.ly/2011fund. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent permitted by law.