Message to members
will make the difference
We stood outside the supermarket for hours, passing out pamphlets, talking
spreading the word about CFIDS to anyone who would listen.
It wasn't the most relaxing way to spend a sunny Saturday in May. But it was the most
important way. If we're going to conquer this disease, members of The CFIDS Association of America must
pitch in wherever, and whenever, we can.
None of us chooses this fight. CFIDS finds us. Six years ago, the disease struck my daughter
Allison. At the time, she was a 16-year-old high school student, an elite swimmer with dreams of a college
scholarship and a chance to compete for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Today she remains a bright, cheerful
young woman, even though her daily struggle with CFIDS often brings her to tears.
If I ever question my commitment to beating CFIDS, I need look no further than Allison
At times, the task seems daunting. Politicians sometimes appear indifferent. Research
can be confusing and contradictory. Public awareness is increasing, but remains spotty. But these aren't
reasons to quit. If anything, they're a call to members to work even harder, longer and smarter.
How can members help? In any way possible. I am fortunate to have the energy, and
can make the time, to serve on the Association's Board of Directors. I also can travel to our annual Lobby
Day and take part in grassroots activities like Awareness Day this May.
Those with CFIDS often find these tasks impossible. But there are many other ways to help,
such as writing letters, calling your Congressman, or asking family members, friends and others for assistance
or donations. If you're looking for ideas, check the Patient Advocacy section of the Association's Web
site at www.cfids.org.
We all know that CFIDS won't be beaten easily. But every person we reach, every opinion
we sway, pushes us down the path to our final goal. Alone, we are just ripples in a pond--but together,
we form a powerful wave. If we all do our part, Association members will make a difference.