An estimated four million people in the U.S. suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). That's alot of sick people.
Even so, there is so little government funding for research that people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have started to pull together funding for research themselves in order to have a blood test simply to get a diagnosis.
The Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) Association of America is the largest patient-advocacy group for people with CFS. The CFIDS Association recently put $125,000 into research of CFS at the molecular level. Researcher Gordon Broderick of the University of Alberta will be working on this assignment.
“ 'They are a population of very sick people that are so frustrated, that they decided to take this into their own hands. Every nickel of this money comes from patients and their families, so if ever there was a sacred trust this is it,' he says."
Research is difficult and complex because so many body systems are affected by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, for example, the immune system, endocrine system and the nervous system. Nevertheless, where research is ongoing, there is hope.