A report on coverage of CFIDS in the mainstream media.
Olympic swimmers tell their
stories. An article in the August 6 issue of the Baltimore Sun
describes Olympic swimmer Anita Nall’s battle with CFIDS. Nall almost
retired in 1996, but is now back to swimming after physical therapy and
treatment for neurally mediated hypotension.
Olympic swimmer Tom Dolan
has also been open about his battle with CFIDS and asthma. NBC announcers
reported Dolan’s illness had affected his training, resulting in erratic time
trials at several events, but Dolan managed to take first place in both the
men’s 400m and 200m medleys at the 2000 Olympics.
Akers announcement. This August
the media again focused on Michelle Akers as the veteran soccer star and person
with CFIDS (PWC) announced her retirement from international competition.
An Associated Press report noted that Akers was stepping down “due to an injured
shoulder and a lengthy battle with chronic fatigue syndrome.” In her press
release, Akers cited “a weariness of the constant maintenance of CFS in order to
perform at the international level” as the reason for her resignation from the
Keith Jarrett talks to NPR. Keith
Jarrett, a well-known jazz pianist, acknowledges how CFIDS has forced him to
change his approach to playing. In a September 1, hour-long interview with Terri
Gross of National Public Radio, he described how his illness caused him to stop
performing for two and a half years. Jarrett revealed that he still keeps a low
public profile for fear of a relapse.
New York Times acknowledges
FM. Jane Brody used her August 1 column in the New York
Times to discuss the reality of fibromyalgia. “Fibromyalgia: Real Illness,
Real Answers” confirms that the disorder is not “all in the head” or the result
of an emotional disorder. Brody notes that half or more of fibromyalgia patients
have or once had other disorders that lack a defined organic basis, such as
chronic fatigue syndrome.
Radio show on CFIDS. “Focus on the
Family,” a nationally syndicated Christian radio program that
is heard on
close to 3,000 stations across the nation, featured discussions on CFIDS October
16-18. The three-day program featured three PWCs, including Association member
Linda McCulloch (see below).
Thanks to all of those who are working with the
media to increase awareness of CFIDS. The CFIDS Public Relations (CPR) Team
helps to monitor and respond to media coverage. Please clip articles about CFIDS
and send them to CPR Team, PO Box 220398, Charlotte, NC 28222.
PWC GENERATES LOCAL AND
Linda McCulloch is a case study in CFIDS media success.
She set out a year ago to do as much as she could to help other people with the
illness. She called a local newspaper reporter and pitched her on the idea of
covering CFIDS. An article ran a month later.
With no contacts at the
local television stations, she called the one with the highest ratings. “The
television reporters took more coaxing and seemed most interested in the local
angle—how I had to stop teaching at a local school when I got sick,” she says.
The station finally agreed to do a report on CFIDS, and the coverage generated
more information queries for the local support group.
A year after she
sent a letter to Focus on the Family, they said they would do a show on CFIDS.
The show made an impact on national awareness of CFIDS and for Linda personally.
Dr. James Dobson, founder, heard that Linda’s doctors had exhausted their
treatment resources and her insurance company denied her going outside of the
plan. Dr. Dobson arranged for her to be evaluated by the physician expert
featured on the show and to cover all of her expenses.