In December 2005, my world changed. I woke from hysterectomy surgery with electrifying, shocking pain going through my body and a numb left leg. I kept saying, “Something is terribly wrong,” but my doctors told me it was just the effects from anesthesia. I felt completely misunderstood and rejected by the medical community, even when I finally received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Life-altering pain and fibromyalgia symptoms escalated every day, and I was afraid the torture would never end. Practically bedridden for 16 months, I couldn’t care for myself. I wanted to die many times, but I held on for my husband and children.
You or someone you love likely has had life disrupted by fibromyalgia or chronic pain diseases. So, you already know how devastating it can be and how it robs you of many of the things you enjoy. Struggling to care for yourself and your family may be your reality as it was mine.
But, perhaps the hardest part of all is when people tell you they don’t believe your pain is real, including your doctors and family members. Diane G. shared her story with us:
Our chronic pain disease is “invisible” because we look healthy. We are told it's “all in our heads.” We are dismissed by medical professionals, family, friends, co-workers, and strangers. We face labels, discrimination, and (on occasion) actual hate and violence. I am NOT invisible. I am real. My disease is real. My pain is real. I just want someone to see me, behind the fake smile.”
Please help us save lives by giving a gift now of $10, $25, $50, $100, or more to the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association.
I understand that your chronic pain is real, and I want the world to understand it.
Early in 2016 new state and federal health policies and guidelines changed how doctors treat pain – now millions of people don’t have access to chronic pain treatments nor doctors who will treat chronic pain. This is a critical problem. In our recent survey, 27.7% of people said that since the changes, they are considering suicide. It has never been more urgent for lawmakers and medical providers to know that you need help and access to better, safer treatments. In response to these changes, the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association advanced the U.S. National Pain Strategy in mid-2016 to transform how pain is viewed, diagnosed, treated, researched, and prevented. We take representing your concerns very seriously. Your past donation helped us develop advocacy and programs with successful impact.
But, we’re only part way there. With your donation to our year-end campaign, you can take a stand against people with pain being turned away from receiving pain care from healthcare providers. Help us implement and continue programs that work to:
- shorten the time a diagnosis takes (currently people wait on average 5 years);
- identify better and safer treatments;
- engage with insurance companies and lawmakers to have more treatments covered by insurance;
- promote research that not only addresses the symptoms, but someday a cure; and
- determine and address the ways people with chronic pain diseases are impacted by healthcare policies.
To aid the efforts listed above, here is a brief list of public programs we will fund in 2017 with your help.
- Patient Activation -- Connect patients with essential resources through live events, online articles, e-newsletters, online communities, and live support groups.
- Advocacy Engagement -- Improve patient care by campaigning for federal research funding for integrative treatments (CAM-complementary and alternative medicine)
- Allies Against Pain advocacy program --A major expansion to give pain patients a bigger voice on community, state and national levels. Our goal - Allies in every community!
- Awareness Campaigns - Reduce stigma surrounding chronic pain diseases and empower chronic pain patients to take action for themselves through Together Walks, May 12th Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, September Pain Awareness Month and social media.
- Leaders Against Pain Action Network - The advocacy arm of the NFMCPA that provides help for support groups, media outreach, and advocacy on state and national levels.
These are just a few ways we represent your concerns and advocate tirelessly every day to help you and others living with fibromyalgia and chronic pain diseases.
Did you know the risk of developing fibromyalgia is eight times higher in immediate family members of patients with fibromyalgia? Also, fibromyalgia affects men, women, and children of all ages and cultures. That’s why we’re working harder than ever, and we need your help! Your gift will help the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association continue working to build a better tomorrow for you and others living with chronic pain, including your loved ones.
Fibromyalgia and chronic pain diseases are a major public health crisis affecting 100 million Americans who are your sisters, mothers, brothers, friends, neighbors, and our veterans. Your donation will help us be effective in the fight for better care. On a daily basis we hear from community members who feel tortured through the denial of access to effective pain relief and health care. Your gift can help us to end the torture and bring relief and healing.
As we enter this holiday season of hope and thanks, please make your annual tax-deductible gift to the NFMCPA by midnight, December 31st. Donations at every level are helping to provide relief from suffering.
Simply mail your gift to the NMCPA at 25 Federal Avenue, Logan, Utah, 84321. Or, if you prefer, you can donate at our secure website.
Remember, your gift is tax deductible as a charitable donation and will make a significant difference for millions of people affected by life-altering, chronic pain diseases. People will continue to suffer, be turned away from pain care with nowhere else to turn, and consider suicide if we don’t act together. If you don’t take a stand, who will?
I’ve been living with this disease for 11 years and have met thousands who share my experience, hopes, and dreams. Working together, we can stop chronic pain diseases from derailing lives. So please, right now while everything is in front of you, take a minute to make your tax-deductible donation to the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association.
With many thanks.
President and Founder
P.S. Please join me in saying “Life-altering chronic pain is REAL, and better treatments are needed TODAY!” Your generous gift to the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association will help us send this message loud and clear!