Michael Spain takes a very business-like approach to his illness. He owns an insurance brokerage and is involved with community banks in his state, and credits being an entrepreneur with allowing him to continue to work.
Like any good business owner who can tell you the most minute details of his or her company, Spain will tell you that, “unfortunately,” he’s had CFS since March 13, 1990. His story is typical: one day, he got sick. He was incredibly tired and flu-like, and had a recurring strep throat. He went from doctor to doctor until finally, nine months later, a physician in Massachusetts diagnosed him with CFS and presented him with a packet of information, including some from the CFIDS Association.
Spain has supported the Association for the last several years. “The information and its gathering and distribution has been fantastic. There’s one central place that’s watching over everything, versus reaching out to doctors once a year to see the latest, or read the New York Times’s science section,” he says. “The Association has been very measured in its approach; that’s not a popular approach, but it’s the right one. They provide good, measured information and I appreciate that a lot.”
He also appreciates the Association’s research-support methodology. “It’s not a shot-gun approach. It’s a more nuanced approach as the CFIDS Association figures out where monies can best be applied. This filtered approach feels positive to me,” Spain says. “I still believe it’s important there’s some definitive test so our group is narrowed down to definitive groups. Like everyone else, I hope for diagnosis and treatment.”
Spain sees his gift to THECatalystFUND as a responsibility. “It’s just too bad we didn’t get pulled together as a group very well – now, we have this central location to rally behind. I feel it’s incumbent on me to support the Association any way I can,” he says. “For anybody who’s sick, or has a family member who’s sick, we should do everything we can to support this. What could be more important?”
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