CFS in New York Times and on Fox TV Program
CFS continues to make national headlines. Here are the two latest examples of how the public awareness campaign is “Spark!ing” attention across the country:
New York Times Article validates CFS
CFS “is now finally gaining some official respect,” said The New York Times in its first full feature article on CFS since 2005, and the first ever in its Tuesday Science section. Writer David Tuller provided welcome validation for the illness in the July 17 article headlined “Chronic Fatigue No Longer Seen as ‘Yuppie Flu.’”
Tuller summarized CFS, including the symptoms, the history, the research and the CDC-funded public awareness campaign. His quoted experts were a CFS “who’s who”: Dr. William Reeves of the CDC, Stanford University’s Dr. Jose Montoya, Dr. Leonard Jason of DePaul University, Association President & CEO Kim McCleary and others.
In addition, Tuller’s broad article touched on several issues of importance to the CFS community, such as the recent release of new prevalence data, Dr. Montoya’s valganciclovir (Valcyte) trial and the name-change debate.
Most exciting to the thousands of people affected by CFS, however, could be this quote: “Some scientists and many patients remain highly critical of the CDC’s record on chronic fatigue syndrome. . . But nearly everyone now agrees that the syndrome is real.”
It’s hard to deny the legitimacy lent to the illness by this well-researched story published in one of the nation’s leading newspapers of record and reprinted by other papers around the country.
Read the story for yourself, and use the Association’s Grassroots Action Center to send a note of thanks to New York Times editors.
Nationally Syndicated Talk Show Hosts CFS Panel
Just one week later, Fox TV provided another “Spark!” of CFS awareness by devoting a segment of its popular talk show, “The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet” ,to the illness. The show is seen across 98 percent of the country and claims more than two million viewers.
On July 24, hosts Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy welcomed Brian Bernard of New Jersey and Kathy Rabin of Boston, CFS spokespeople featured in the national traveling photo exhibit; Shanley Crutchfield, a CFS patient living in Baltimore; and women’s health expert Dr. Donnica Moore (who’s also Brian’s mother). Dr. Marc Sciegel, a “Morning Show” regular, also joined the panel.
An opening video noted that the CDC calls CFS a “legitimate” illness and listed its symptoms. Shanley added context by noting that “fatigue just doesn’t even describe it. It’s utter exhaustion and pain.”
Thirteen-year-old Brian shocked the hosts and audience with the admission that at one point, “I thought I was dying. CFS makes you feel like you want to climb into a coffin and sleep forever.”
Kathy said she and a friend joke that the CFS patient’s need for constant rest is really a case of “holding back your inner achiever.”
Both physicians discussed the difficulty in diagnosing CFS, and Dr. Siegel stressed early intervention and the need for more research into the illness.
The segment was indeed a success; the video link on “The Morning Show’s” website includes a link to the Association’s Web site, which realized an increase in traffic after the video was posted. The New Jersey CFS Association reported that it received phone calls the day of the show after Dr. Moore mentioned it as a resource.
Watch the segment for yourself (click on “Health” in the Categories list). Segments stay in the show’s website archive for several weeks.
For more information about media attention generated by the national CFS public awareness campaign and recent media coverage visit http://www.cfids.org/sparkcfs/media-coverage.asp.