The theme for this year’s campaign, “Fibromyalgia Affects Everyone,” focuses on the far-reaching effects of this common, chronic pain disorder—from broken lives to the economic costs for patients and society.
- An estimated 10 million men, women and children in the United States suffer from fibromyalgia, which is characterized by chronic widespread pain, multiple tender points, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbances, and fatigue.
- For those with severe symptoms, fibromyalgia can be extremely debilitating and interfere with basic daily activities.
- Total healthcare costs over 12 months are about three times higher among fibromyalgia patients compared to patients without the disorder
- Fibromyalgia costs the U.S. between $12-$14 billion each year
In 1993, Tom Hennessy, the founder of RESCIND, INC. (Repeal Existing Stereotypes about Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases), designated May 12 as International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND). The date was chosen to memorialize the birth date of Florence Nightingale, the English army nurse who inspired the founding of the International Red Cross. Nightingale contracted a paralyzing, CIND-like illness in her mid-30s and spent the last 50 years of her life virtually bedridden. Despite her illness, she managed to found the first-ever School of Nursing. Awareness Day activities take place worldwide in an effort to increase awareness of chronic pain illnesses including fibromyalgia.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL FIBROMYALGIA ASSOCIATION:
The National Fibromyalgia Association is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop and execute programs dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with fibromyalgia. The NFA publishes a quarterly magazine, Fibromyalgia AWARE, and hosts an award-winning website at www.fmaware.org.