“I assess the power of a will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows how to turn to its advantage.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
May 12th is called “Invisible Illness Day.”
You probably don’t know that…and that’s part of the problem.
Years ago, May 12th was chosen to be the international awareness day for chronic immunological and neurological diseases, which include everything from Gulf War Syndrome and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities to fibromyalgia (fibro), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Yet more money is spent each year trying to cure male pattern baldness than these diseases.
I’m all for a luxurious head of hair. But, diseases like ME are taking lives.
To be sure, “Invisible Illness Day” rolls off the tongue much more easily than “Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Day.” But the name highlights one of the sources of great frustration for most of us — we often do not APPEAR outwardly sick, thus many people refuse to believe our illness is real.
Unfortunately, some of those “many people” include doctors, policy makers and insurance companies.
How do we fight an illness with no end, no cure, no treatment, no recognition? How many people must die before the world pays attention? How many sufferers must commit suicide from the hopelessness and misery they’re dragged through every day before change comes? We fight it by bringing awareness of the problem, one person at a time. Every tweet, Facebook post, blog entry, text and conversation you and I have about ME helps fight it. Every petition we sign, documentary we watch and donation we give is a punch in ME’s face. And here’s the latest way I’m balling up my tiny little fists.
For the month of May, I am donating 50 percent of profits from all my sales to The Microbe Discovery Project, a group working to solve the mystery of ME and find a cure for those afflicted. And what do I sell? Well, what do you want? Because my images come from the frameable to the wearable and in every price range.
– museum-quality, fine art prints
– iPad/iPhone/iPod covers
– blank greeting cards
– post cards
– shirts and hoodies
– wearable art
– throw pillows
– INTROSPECTIVE: my eight-week, on-line, course of self-discovery through photography
Also, in honor of this day of raising awareness, I’m holding a contest to win a beautiful, 10″ x 15″, museum-quality print of my latest image, The Blue Ribbon; an underwater representation of the struggle that living with ME can be. Your print will come on beautiful, shimmering, pearlized, archival paper. And all you have to do is tweet!
Ready to tweet? Use any of the following!
Tweeting multiple statements will count as extra entries, so enter as many times as you like. However, tweeting the same statement multiple times will not count. And that will probably just annoy the people reading your feed, so don’t do it. 😉 I will choose a random winner from all entries on May 20th and announce the winner here!
Thank you to everyone for reading and participating!
Curious how ME became an invisible disease? Stay tuned to find out more for Invisible Illness Week!
If you have had your own experiences with ME, CFS, fibro or any other chronic illness and you’d like to share your story, please leave it in a comment!