Twenty-two years ago, patient advocate Tom Hennessey chose May 12 to be International ME/CFS and FM Awareness Day. May 12 had been Florence Nightingale's birthday, and since it she may have had ME/CFS or something like it, the date of her birth seemed like a good choice.
ME/CFS stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis/ chronic fatigue syndrome.
I have been writing about ME/CFS for five years now, and each year for our May 12 International ME/CFS and FM Awareness Day, it is the same.
Usually when I'm doing research to prepare for writing an article, one of the things I'll do is a Google search on my topic.
I did my search, and found plenty of exposure for FM (fibromyalgia). At least, compared to what I found for ME/CFS it seems like lots. And that is a good thing for FM, since not too long ago it was considered a non-condition that nobody ever heard anything reputable about.
But while there are tons of blogs, forums and support groups for ME/CFS, it is rare to find an article by any well-known health websites, or journalistic websites.
This year, there were none that uttered even a whisper about our Awareness Day. Lots of other Awareness Days out there are getting press but we just don't seem to show up outside our own ME/CFS ghetto.
Because of this dearth of exposure and awareness for ME/CFS, and because I happen to have it myself, I will be focusing here only on ME/CFS.
Thank you, EmpowHER, for being a website that has published something each year about ME/CFS on International ME/CFS and FM Awareness Day, when few outside of our patient/advocate community have done so.
Here are a few of the things going on in the ME/CFS arena around the world for May 12.
Dr. Charles Shepherd, a leading ME/CFS expert in the UK will have given three talks this weekend, in Limerick City, in Galway City and at the Dublin Airport
On May 12, in Aomori, Japan, the ME/CFS movie "Voices from the Shadows" will be screened.
There's a vigil for ME/CFS you can take part in, even if you are stuck at home in your bed or on your couch. The website is from the UK but the vigil is around the world.