November 8, 2006
CFS awareness reached a milestone this month with the kickoff of the CFS Public Awareness Campaign. Julie Gerberding (Director of the Center for Disease Control) and Kim McCleary spearheaded the event at the Washington Press Club. In short, this was a coming out party for CFS as it was picked up by most of the major national and local press. As patients, we know that public awareness is half of the battle.
I would like to thank CFIDS Association of America and the CDC for helping the public recognize what CFS and Fibromyalgia patients have known for a long time. These are serious, complex, and disabling illnesses. I hope that you will take the time to write Julie Gerberding and Kim McCleary and thank them for their work on this campaign. As our Association is both an advocate for both CFS and Fibromyalgia, we do not want to lose sight that these events also indirectly help awareness for Fibromyalgia in kind. It is clear that these illnesses share more common factors than not and that more than 60% of diagnosed patients meet the definitions for both disorders. When it comes to finding a cure, there are no boundaries.
In concert with the campaign kick-off, RMCFA has adopted a new mission and goals for 2007. This effort encompasses participation and recognition locally and nationally as an education resource, advocate, and support organization for these misunderstood illnesses. I would like to share with you some of these goals...
- Network with national and government organizations to further our mission of support, education, awareness, and advocacy
- Participate in national events and be recognized as one of the top state education and support organizations
- Bring the most current support, education and news to our events and meetings by bringing in qualified local and national medical providers and special experts
- Expand our support base and activities locally
- Establish a local, national and world wide link with our website and e-news letter monthly
- Lead education to local medical providers by giving them resources with the most current clinical treatments and education
- Network with other state support organizations with common missions to share strategies of support and education methods
- Act as an advocate locally with local press, government organizations and the public at large to help the recognition process of the complexities of these illnesses
- Look for potential avenues for RMCFA to be involved and fund research
I hope that you will join in my enthusiasm for the importance of the work that has been done this month as the Public Awareness Campaign reaches the local and national media. We know that these events will not change our illness overnight but is a process that little by little changes the way medical providers and the public understand CFS and Fibromyalgia. We also understand that this is an important step in raising funding, research, and educating medical providers to treat these illnesses. Please help this cause by getting involved. Over the coming months, we will give many examples of ways that you can participate in this cause.
Thank you for your continued support!