Keeping you up-to-date on recent
events across the nation and around the world
Peterson carries flag, spreads CFIDS
Speedskater Amy Peterson, a person
with CFIDS, was elected by her fellow athletes to carry the American
flag at the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake
City, Utah, in February.
“This is overwhelming,” said Peterson,
who has battled CFIDS for more than five years. “To carry the American flag is
beyond anything I could have imagined. They haven’t started yet and they’re
already the best Games ever for me.”
The Utah Olympics were Peterson’s fifth
last. She has won three medals in her previous appearances, and was scheduled to
race in three events this time.
Peterson appeared on NBC’s Today show
before the opening ceremonies. She spoke openly of how CFIDS affected her
training — saying that she was so exhausted in the two months before the
Olympics that she wasn’t sure she would qualify to race.
“There have been a lot of days when
said, ‘I’ve had enough,’” she stated. “And then I knew I would have regretted
it. I never thought I would be carrying the flag.”
UK Report: CFIDS real
Doctors in the United Kingdom must now recognize CFIDS as a valid chronic
illness, after a government advisory group ruled it to be a genuine
A working group appointed by the country’s
chief medical officer issued its findings last fall. The report calls for the
establishment of a national research program on CFIDS, which in the UK is known
as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).
“This has been a disease in the
wilderness,” said Sir Liam Donaldson, chief medical officer. “From today all
that changes. This is a real condition, affecting real people.”
The working group’s report stirred
controversy, especially with regard to treatment options. Patient
representatives on the panel felt that it placed too much emphasis on graded
exercise therapy as a treatment. Some doctors, on the other hand, felt that not
enough attention was paid to psychological and social treatments. Four
clinicians and two patient representatives declined to endorse the final
“Seabiscuit” author scores
Author Laura Hillenbrand has won the Turf Publicists of
America’s annual Big Sport of Turfdom award for her best-selling book,
“Seabiscuit: An American Legend.” Hillenbrand, a person with CFIDS, was
scheduled to receive the prize on Feb. 18.
The award is given to a person whose
“cooperation with the media enhances coverage of and brings favorable attention
Hillenbrand spent four years researching
and writing “Seabiscuit,” the tale of a Depression-era racehorse and his
underdog handlers. “Seabiscuit” also has been named one of five finalists for
the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Prize for general nonfiction.
“I Remember Me” opens to widespread
Filmmaker Kim A. Snyder’s documentary, “I Remember Me” has
made its theater debut in New York City, Chicago and Miami. The film chronicles
Snyder’s battle with CFIDS, and has won several awards, including the Best
Documentary prize at the Denver Film Festival in 2000.
“I Remember Me” won praise from a number
critics — including Roger Ebert — before and during its opening runs. After
watching the film, Ebert wrote, “I now believe in chronic fatigue syndrome” in
his review in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Snyder’s film is slated for brief releases
in San Francisco on March 3 and 4 at the Red Vic; in Flint, Mich. from March
15–17 at the Flint Institute of Art; and in Montpelier, Vt. on March 27 and 28
at the Savoy Theater.