Keeping you up-to-date
on recent events across the national and around the world
Judy Morris, MD, a chronic fatigue and
immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) patient, is suing UNUM Life Insurance
Company for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because the
company classified her illness as mental rather than physical.
People disabled by a mental illness are limited to two years of benefits. The court
denied UNUM's motion
to dismiss Dr. Morris' lawsuit and found that "application of the claims process in an intentionally discriminatory
manner violates Title III" of the ADA.
A motion is pending to overturn UNUM's gag orders. Donations and/or sponsors are needed
to help with
expenses. Morris also needs claimants to testify about mistreatment by UNUM. For information, contact
Judy Morris, MD, at 261 Bumstead Rd., Monson, MA 01057, or call 413/267-3606.
New CFIDS course
University's psychology department will offer a course this fall on CFIDS as part of a new experimental
learning requirement. Juniors have to take one course that involves field or service work in the local
The course, taught by Dr. Constance Van der Eb, will give an overview of the history,
biology and social
impact of CFIDS. Students will also learn firsthand what it is like to live with an invisible illness.
Students will be paired with a local patient and will spend several hours per week providing
and social support to the patient and assistance in daily tasks.
"Many persons with CFIDS are homebound and isolated, so the public has no exposure to
says Dr. Van der Eb. "This course will provide insight into the reality of CFIDS and the toll this disease
takes on individuals' lives."
Students must write a research paper on CFIDS, develop a video on living with the illness
a project to complete the course.
CFIDS researcher dies
Dr. David H.P. Streeten, considered
to be the father of dysautonomia research, died September 29. He was 78. Dr. Streeten was one of the first
to recognize the association between the endocrine system and blood pressure and heart rate changes.
He did important research on orthostatic intolerance in CFIDS patients and was to have
been the first
scientific speaker at the National Institutes of Health's CFS State of the Science Conference in October.
His contributions to endocrinology, dysautonomia and CFIDS were numerous.
Past Board member dies
Jhan Hiber, a past member of the Association's Board
(1995-1996), died October 4 in Anchorage, Alaska. A former broadcaster and media consultant, Jhan strengthened
the Association's public relations efforts during his tenure. He also served as a CFIDS support group
leader while residing in Carmel, Calif.
CFIDS film wins award
"I Remember Me," a film written, produced and directed
by Kim Snyder,
won honorable mention at The Hamptons International Film Festival in October. It also won best documentary
at the Denver International Film Festival later that month.
The film presents a comprehensive view of the CFIDS experience and interviews with a diverse range
SHOULD YOU GET A FLU SHOT?
There is no evidence about whether a flu shot can benefit
CFIDS patients, and with no hard and fast data, itís hard to know what to do. Weight the risks and talk
it over with your physician. If you are working or have considerable contact with the public, you might
want to consider it, particularly if you fall under the U.S. Centers for Disease Controlís guidelines
of who should receive the flu vaccination. However, if you have little contact with the public, the risks
may outweigh the benefits. See the article, "Flu shot Pros & Cons," on About.comís web site at