May 12th, 2016 is International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. People worldwide strive to spread awareness for fibromyalgia throughout the month of May. This year’s theme is Your Voice Matters – Make Fibromyalgia Visible. You may be wondering how you can participate when you can’t even get out of the house. Luckily, there are a few Fibromyalgia Awareness Day online events to help spread awareness, raise funds, and even help aid in your healing.
Not only is May 12th Fibromyalgia Awareness Day it is the International Awareness Day for all Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND). The CIND illnesses include Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). May 12th was chosen because it is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the English army nurse who inspired the founding of the International Red Cross.
Florence Nightingale was believed to have suffered from ME/CFS. She became chronically ill in her mid-thirties with a Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)-like illness. The last 50 years of her life she was often bedridden. Despite suffering from a debilitating illness, she managed to found the world’s first School of Nursing.
Fibromyalgia Awareness Day Online Events
Every year a number of events are held to mark May 12th. They are either held on May 12th or sometime during the month of May. These events are an effort to raise awareness and funds to help further support those with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.
The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFCPA) plays a huge role in these efforts. The NFCPA is a not for profit organization that provides support, education, research, and advocacy for fibromyalgia and chronic pain conditions. They have made it their mission to ensure that treatment for chronic pain patients is appropriate, accessible, and affordable.
Some online events for 2016 include:
- Together Walks – The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association is joining forces with local organizations and Leaders Against Pain to launch TOGETHER WALKS in 2016 in Richmond, Portland, Louisville, Coral Springs, Central Florida, Nashville, and a Virtual Online Walk.
- Share your story – The majority of people without personal chronic pain experience don’t understand how difficult it is to receive healthcare and reliable pain relief. Policy makers need to know if there are negative effects and health setbacks caused by their policies and actions. They need to hear from you. You are invited to share your story. Thousands of stories are needed from pain patients and their loved ones all across the United States.
- Giveaways – During the month of May, some of my fellow chronic illness bloggers will be presenting a new giveaway each Monday The giveaways are being hosted by Brandi at BeingFibroMom as well as news about various fibromyalgia events and articles. Brandi is also doing Fibro Flash Giveaways on her Facebook page on Fridays.
Free Online Fibromyalgia Summit
Ruschelle Khanna, LCSW, is offering a free online Fibromyalgia Summit for both patients and caregivers. There are more than 30 speakers and downloadable resources to aid in healing and recovery. The free summit, which begins May 12 through 14, includes interviews from some of the top specialists in fibromyalgia healing. It also includes interviews from individuals that have healed, lifestyle experts and more.
You can register for free or purchase digital access to all 30+ audio presentations with, including: Powerpoint Presentations, Bonus Gifts and the exclusive Wellness Bundle.
According to the American Chronic Pain Society, fibromyalgia syndrome is one of the most common chronic pain conditions in the world. Worldwide, it is estimated that fibromyalgia affects 200 to 400 million people. One of the most difficult aspects of determining the prevalence and statistics concerning fibromyalgia is the difficulty many people face in obtaining a diagnosis.
You can help make fibromyalgia visible by joining the National Fibromyalgia Association. Membership to the NFA is free. As a member, you will receive updated information about the latest research and treatments to help improve your FM symptoms. You will also be invited to play a role in spreading awareness. You can do a little or you can do a lot -it’s your choice.
We all have a voice and our voice matters.