Photo Courtesy of Stephens Hiland
Dr. Andy Kogelnik, journalist Llewellyn King and 24-year-old Ryan Prior, a patient who has ME/CFS, will be participating in a panel at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Friday, January 24, 2014.
The purpose of the event is to bring media exposure to the debilitating illness ME/CFS and to those who suffer from the condition.
ME/CFS is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, as well as chronic fatigue syndrome.
It is part of the spectrum of neuro-immune or neuroendocrine-immune diseases that includes autism, fibromyalgia, Gulf War Illness, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, multiple chemical sensitivities and Parkinson’s disease.
It's not unusual for ME/CFS patients to have one or more of these conditions.
ME/CFS is estimated to afflict about 1 million Americans, and may affect as many as 17 million people globally, according to the CDC.
Research by Leonard Jason of DePaul University has indicated that ME/CFS receives less coverage in medical text books than many other diseases that are less severe or less common, and what little information is found in text books is often inaccurate or outdated.
King, Dr. Kogelnik and Prior are coming together for this panel discussion on January 24 because they believe it's well past time to change this situation.
King is executive producer and host for "White House Chronicle" on PBS. He is a columnist for the Hearst-New York Times Syndicate.
In recent years he has written and has spoken about those who suffer from ME/CFS, determined that these invisible people should be seen, embraced, and helped by those around them, and by the medical community.
The panel will also double as a scene for the upcoming documentary on the illness "The Blue Ribbon," which Prior is producing with cinematographer Nicole Castillo.
In an email interview, Prior said that Castillo's intention was to make a documentary that will cause an awakening of awareness among the public, doctors, journalists, researchers and politicians for the sake of those suffering and for the future of the children who have ME/CFS.
Dr. Kogelnik of the Open Medicine Institute in Mountain View, Calif.