May 12 International Awareness Day 20th Anniversary

On Saturday May 12 please wear blue and save a  blue ribbon to your computer to help raise awareness for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,  or purple for Fibromyalgia.

The month of May is ME/CFS and FM Awareness Month, and 2012 marks the 20th anniversary for an International May 12th Awareness Day.

The idea originated with Tom Hennessy, the founder of RESCIND (Repeal Existing Stereotypes about Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases). Mr. Hennessy designated May 12 as the International Awareness Day for the spectrum of illnesses he called Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND).

May 12 was chosen as it corresponded with the birthdate of Florence Nightingale, the English army nurse who inspired the founding of the International Red Cross.

Nightingale became chronically ill in her mid-thirties with an ME/CFS-like illness. She spent the last 50 years of her life virtually bedridden. Despite suffering from an incapacitating illness, she managed to found the world’s first School of Nursing.

This determined woman of the late 19th century is a symbol of inspiration and hope to sufferers of these chronic disorders in the late 20th century.

To connect with May 12th International Awareness events click the following links:

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4 Responses to May 12 International Awareness Day 20th Anniversary

  1. Valerie Free says:


  2. Lisa D. Ahmeni says:

    Activities were low key. We need more publicity to help raise awareness. Love your blog.

  3. Sue says:

    Thanks for doing your part on raising awareness!

  4. It amazes the lack of interest re: these diseases.I have both CFS and FM along with Osteoarthritis and 20 other disorders.I’ve have over 20 surgeries and have been ill for 17 years. I cannot work, I don’t make enough money on Soc. Sec. and SSI to move out of my mother’s house and I’m 63 years old. I have been suicidal in the past. Our group that gets together once a month for lunch mostly have Lupus only a couple of us having FM/CFS All kinds of funding and interest for Lupus as well there should be. Why not that kind of interest for these horrific conditions. Two of our ladies have committed suicide and many have passed away, usually only making it to early 70’s at the oldest. Anyone who has them cannot run an organization or do any sort of fund raising; we are too sick. Oh, yeah, and we don’t have remissions. Our disorders just keep adding up over time. Families don’t get it, friends don’t get it and sometimes doctor’s don’t even get it. Most are accepting now, but have limited knowledge on the treatment of these disorders. They are mysterious,controversial and devastating. I would love to see more products for sale for fundraising: such as ribbons, tshirts, stickers/bumper stickers, pens, pins and things like all the other groups. I order a pin for FM a long time ago and it was like the breast cancer pin in shap and was 1/2 red and 1/2 pink: the pink standing for woman and the red for pain. I also have one of those sort of rubber bracelets that are still popular. FM has been largely considered a “women’s disease” although more and more men are getting it also. Is that why the color purple is mentioned for FM?
    One year in Colorado Springs, my mom and I called all the radio stations to tell them about May 12th. Don’t know whether or not they announced it or not. I made flyers and posted them in stores, back when you could. I got the coolest, colorful neurological diagram for FM from somewhere. I want to have a tshirt made that says “this is FM on you brain”. Don’t know where I got the diagram, but it will be,I hope, a great conversation starter. People are not aware, mostly because most of us look normal. Yet, we are exhausted from all the pain, if not just being exhausted because that’s part of it in the first place. It is a sad disease. So misunderstood and people just mostly know nothing about it. I pray that soon, the government and people who have family/friends with it will start taking notice and donating. Did you ever realize you never get an envelope in the mail asking for donations for CFS/FMS? Hmmm. Why? God bless all who endure and endure and keep on.
    And I am so thankful for those dedicated to the study of these mysterious illnesses. Thank you for standing up for us. You are amazingly precious and special. Cathey DeRosa

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