Real Stories, Real Gifts
“It started as self-interest…”
Many of you have already stepped up to support the CFIDS Association of America financially this year. As we enter this season of giving, the CFIDSLink staff reflects on the generosity of the individual donors whose gifts--large and small--have enabled the CFIDS Association to serve the CFS community. We appreciate you all.
Here are some personal stories from a sampling of our community of donors:
John C. Miller, Teaneck, New Jersey:
“It started as self-interest. Like a lot of people, I was not even aware of the need for CFS research until I got sick (in 1969). Then I started asking, ‘What do I have?’ It’s been very frustrating because there are so many variables, and I’m sure it’s frustrating for doctors, too. But once I learned more about CFS, I started giving to the Association. I think we all have an obligation to do what we can for the whole tribe of us who have this illness. It’s been a heck of a ride!”
Emily Welty, Richfield, Ohio:
“There’s a spiritual connection involved in charitable giving. I used to think that accepting help and acknowledging I have limitations made me vulnerable, but I realize now that’s not true at all. When you give, I think you get back a kind of armor, and that the only way to get hurt is not to give. Giving keeps everything in balance. You can lose something only if you don’t give it away.
I have a wonderful little statue of a one-winged angel with the inscription, ‘We’re all one-winged angels. Without each other, we cannot fly.’ I’ve had CFS for nearly 18 years, and I give to the CFIDS Association so someone else doesn’t have to travel the same trail I’ve been on. Hopefully, if enough of us contribute, eventually we can all fly!”
Paula Bell, Lafayette, Louisiana:
“I don’t give to receive, although that does happen. I don’t give because it makes me feel good about myself, although that sometimes occurs, too. For me, giving is a sacred responsibility. Giving is the heart of humanity and how mankind evolves. When I open up my wallet, I open up my heart. When I open up my heart, I’m transformed. I truly believe that I am a part of everyone and everyone is a part of me…
“At the beginning of my illness (13 years ago), the CFIDS Association was a lifeline for me. I found emotional relief and a sense of peace from hearing of other people who were experiencing the same thing I was going through. I was no longer alone on my journey.
“Money is a tool. Put in the right hands, it can have a tremendous impact on people’s lives. That’s why I encourage everyone to give to the CFIDS Association!”
Bebe Bowen, Dallas, Texas:
“I give (to the CFIDS Association) so we can find a cure. It’s as simple as that. I’m 84 years old—even though I don’t act it—and I’m still hoping this research will do some good for me and everyone like me. I’m lucky enough to have money to give away, and to me, research is my top priority. I got CFS in 1980-81. Before then I’d been all over the world, but I’m not ready to stop now. I’ve got too much left to do to be sick!”
We accept your gifts in a spirit of humility and gratitude for your faith in our stewardship. It’s your generosity that fuels everything we do for the CFS community. We also invite you to make an end-of-the-year gift to the Association. You can donate now, online. It’s secure and only takes a minute. Thank you.
Your donations enable the CFIDS Association to fund CFS research, fight for better health policy, educate medical professionals and help families and individuals dealing with this debilitating illness.
Make CFS history! Donate now to support CFS research, education and advocacy.