May is the month when people around the world come together to raise awareness of the Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND) called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Lyme Disease.
International ME/CFS, FM & MCS Awareness Day is 12th May and this year is the 25th Anniversary. This date was chosen as it was Florence Nightingale's birthday and she was bed bound for many years with an illness believed to have been ME.
The Wollongong ME/CFS/FM Support Group is continuing the awareness-raising we do all year and throughout May, we have Library Displays in Wollongong, Corrimal and Thirroul Libraries.
Posters are available at all branch Libraries, as well as venues all over the Illawarra.
Members will be wearing blue for ME/CFS, purple for FM and green for MCS and Lyme Disease and sharing information via social media with hashtags including #may12th, #MillionsMissing and #putoutyourshoes.
#MillionsMissing is a global initiative to raise awareness of the millions of people around the world who are too unwell to participate in life in the community. Empty shoes are displayed at the in-person and virtual events to represent the missing sufferers. At the Sydney event at Bondi Beach on 12th May, thongs will be used to put an Aussie spin on the day!
Research is continuing around the world into these debilitating physical illnesses and all sufferers hope that they will one day wear their shoes to all the places from which they are currently missing.
People with these remitting and relapsing health challenges can be young or older, male or female, some still able to go to work or school full time or part time (with difficulty), others house bound, bed bound or completely dependent, needing 24/7 care. Some aren't with us anymore. With these largely invisible illnesses, we may look quite well on the outside but be very ill on the inside.
You may have a family member, friend, co-worker, patient or associate that you know who has one or all of these conditions.
Or you may meet someone in the coming months or years who has them. Please try to understand and support these people.
Like everyone with chronic illnesses, they are doing what they can, when they can.
Help them know they're not alone and that you realise they are living with multiple severe symptoms each day which are not "all in their heads".
Kerri Stephenson, Tarrawanna
Mothers, you have the most important job in the world as you give and provide 24 hour love and care for your children and family.
Thank you for your endless sacrifices you make to see the welfare and success of your children.
Judith Bond, Campbletown
Citing a fake mystical experience Arnold Jago invokes Jesuitical self flagellation screaming penance by virtue of the time worn theistic assertion that we are all sinners. Oh the feelings of guilt!
The actual event via a photo taken at the time was in fact a meteorological event that had no abnormal activity.
Seized on by the Catholic church it has been used as tool of brainwashing for the gullible.
Although those of theistic bent were influenced by religious dogma the accounts by those present were utterly inconsistent and presented nothing more than optical ambiguities.
I am willing to bet Jago a glass of red wine and a wafer that he cannot prove the occurrence of any religious event.
As an atheist who has nothing to prove I belong to a non prophet organisation! Arnold Jago prove me wrong.
Max Perram, Wollongong