Ohio group honors leader Susan Midcap
By Beth Huneycutt
after presenting the CSN ACTION
Awards, we like to tell you something about a recipient. This year, we're letting the members of the Akron-Canton
CFIDS/FMS Self-Help Group do it for us.
These are the comments and inspiring words that
led the CFIDS Support Network Advisory Committee to make the 1998 CSN ACTION Champion Award to Susan Midcap.
ACTION Champion Awards are presented to individuals who have offered outstanding support on behalf of
persons with CFIDS. These sentiments say a lot about why Susan's group members consider her a champion.
"Susan Midcap and this support
group have been extremely beneficial
to me and many others. Although she isn't well herself, Susan has managed to provide copies of information
through mailings and at meetings and has supplied a library for us to use. It helps immensely to be able
to have updated information available. I have had CFIDS for at least the past 12 years. For the last seven,
with Susan's and this group's support, I have been able to get through many lows. Without their help,
it would be unbearable."
"With the support of our leader,
Susan Midcap, we are provided
with a supportive, caring and educational atmosphere. Just knowing there are other people suffering from
similar problems is a big help."
"I first contacted Susan Midcap,
leader of the Akron-Canton
CFS/FM Self-Help Group, in 1994 when I was seeking an attorney for my Social Security disability claim.
She put me in touch with another member of the group who was able to help me.
I have only been to one meeting (because of extreme fatigue), yet Susan and those who help her have continued
to send me mailings of CFS information, the group's activities and a birthday card each year.
her own symptoms, her job as a special education teacher and her responsibilities to her family, Susan
still uses some of her time and limited energy to accomplish the group's goals and to support persons
"I moved to Akron, Ohio, in September
of 1992. I called and
found a local phone number for the nearest CFIDS support group. I was a little nervous about going to
a meeting by myself the first time, but Susan Midcap soon made me feel right at home. A dedicated and
devoted group leader in spite of all her problems related to this illness, she has managed to accumulate
a whole library of CFIDS and fibromyalgia information.
"I've since moved and I miss the group
in Akron. I still receive letters and information from Susan. She is one of the most kind, unselfish,
generous and compassionate people I have ever met."
"This group has been so helpful
to me. The information is great
and the library we have makes so much more available. Susan and the others have been so caring even though
they suffer the same."
"Although she is a wife, mother
and teacher and must cope with
CFS, Susan always has time to counsel others who are much sicker then she may be. More importantly, she
has provided a forum for those who suffer with CFS to share ideas, literature, books and stories about
"The Akron-Canton CFS and FM
Self-Help Group is an excellent
source of support and information. Our leader, Susan Midcap, is dedicated to keeping things going. When
I consider the shape I was in two years ago and how much I've learned and grown as a result of being connected
with this group, I am truly amazed. I am thankful that I discovered this group. Reaching out to others
in pain and those suffering from fatigue has helped me learn about friendship, respect and compassion
in a much deeper way."
Susan Midcap was awarded the 1998 CSN ACTION Champion Award on Oct.
10 at the CSN reception held in Cambridge, Mass. (see the November/December 1998 issue of the Chronicle
for more on the CSN reception and other ACTION award recipients). If you are a support group leader or
contact or if you know someone who is, send a self-addressed business-sized envelope stamped with 55¢
postage to: CSN Info, PO Box 220398, Charlotte, NC 28222-0398, to receive a free CSN information packet.
We thank Susan and all support
group leaders, who, while ill
themselves, offer support to others who live each day with CFIDS and related disorders. Their generosity
and commitment show everyone that they are all champions.
Looking for a group?
interested in locating a
support group in your area, send a business-sized self-addressed envelope stamped with 33¢ postage to
the address noted above. You'll receive a list of support groups available in your state.
In the Sept./Oct.
1998 Chronicle, we incorrectly
identified Kay H. Benton as leader of the FMS/CFIDS Support Group of Farmville, Va. Kay is simply a member
of the group, which is led by a committee of volunteers. We apologize for the error.
Beth Huneycutt left The CFIDS Association
of America last month
after six years of service to pursue a career in nursing. Kris Hopkins is now Support Network Services
What is the CFIDS Support Network?
The CFIDS Support Network of America (CSN)
is a group
of support group leaders around the country who share information and strategies to strengthen efforts
to conquer CFIDS. CSN welcomes a diverse group whose members may not agree on all issues but who understand
that CFIDS is the enemy and that it will never go away if we turn away from each other. The purpose of
CSN is to provide a supportive environment in which its members can share constructive discussion, ideas
and suggestions to acknowledge, improve or enhance the role of group leaders, contacts and organizations.
dues are $15 annually and benefits include monthly mailings with information for both leaders and group
members, 200 free Introducing CFIDS brochures, 30-50% discount on all educational materials available
from The CFIDS Association of America, free bi-monthly CSN support group leader conference calls, free
annual meetings and more. For more information, please send a self-addressed business-sized envelope stamped
with 55¢ postage to: CSN Info, PO Box 220398, Charlotte, NC 28222-0398, to receive a free CSN information