An open apology from members of the CFS patient community sign now

As members of the larger Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) community, conservatively estimated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to be nearly a million in the United States alone, we were shocked and dismayed to hear about the extremely inappropriate actions chosen by a few individual sufferers, who do not represent the majority of sufferers in any way.

As patients medically diagnosed with this severe neuroimmune disorder we do encounter stigma and misunderstandings on a regular basis, however, there is no excuse for the ill considered actions undertaken by a few individuals.

Additionally we hope that you will choose not to allow the poor judgment of the volunteer head of one patient organization to color your perception of this biomedical disorder and the severely ill patients medically diagnosed with CFS.

Fair and balanced reporting on any subject goes a long way toward a better-informed public and in reducing the damaging stigma of cultural myths.

A 2005 CDC economic impact study of this neuroimmune disorder shows that CFS patients are sicker and more disabled than patients with chronic obstructive lung disease, cardiac disease, osteoarthritis and depression.

Yet fewer than 16\% of CFS sufferers in the general population are properly diagnosed and treated for CFS, often times because this medical disorder is mistakenly attributed to psychological concerns.

Annual economic losses conservatively estimated to be $9.1 billion are directly attributed to the physically disabling effects of CFS. This estimate does not include health care costs often artificially inflated by misdiagnosis.

CFS occurs in both sexes and all racial and ethnic groups, but like another neurological disorder, MS, and many autoimmune diseases it is most common in women.

Once considered a medical mystery, substantial cutting edge biomedical research over the past 15 years has vastly increased medical understanding of this neurological immune disorder despite minimal federal funding and congressional investigations into CDC and NIH misappropriation of research funds.

The leading model of pathogenesis is rooted in scientifically identified abnormalities in the brain (central nervous system) and the immune system, both of which may influence and alter the function of the other organs and systems.

The rate of chronic fatigue syndrome is 25 times the rate of AIDS among women and is considerably higher than female lung cancer, breast cancer, and hypertension according to Dr. William C. Reeves, director of the Viral Exanthems and Herpesvirus Branch of the CDC's National Center for Infectious Disease.

Please accept our heartfelt apologies.

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Lorene BuchananBy:
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