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Submitted to the Montpelier Bridge:

Dear Editors,

With May being ME/CFS Awareness Month, patients around the world are mustering all their scant energy to let people know about neuro-immune disease. While the cause of ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome), and related neuro-immune diseases, has not yet been found, recent research is showing an answer may come soon.

People who suffer from neuro-immune diseases, are often disabled, housebound, and unable to even care for themselves. They experience pain, cognitive dysfunctions, sleep disorder, and extreme fatigue following mental or physical exertion, among other symptoms. Only 10% fully recover without relapse. These diseases strike men, women, and children of all ages; stealing lives, destroying careers, and straining relationships to the breaking point. Patients call it ‘living death.’

While families wait for a cure, there are things the community can do to help. Doctors can educate themselves with complete and current information. Families and friends can offer understanding and support. And all of us can ask for and offer more resources for research, which is desperately needed.

Two events are planned for mid-May in Vermont: the VTCFIDS conference in Burlington on the 12th and a reception/fund-raiser at Nutty Steph’s Chocolate Shop in Middlesex on the 13th. I hope to see you there.

With sincere thanks,
Patty Smith
Bethel, VT