Michelle-Lee-200x233NFMCPA Leader Against Pain E. Michelle Lee has traveled the fibromyalgia (FM) journey for more than 20 years and had approximately 20 major surgeries due in part to FM and its associated ailments. She resides in Columbus, Ohio, where she is a well-known radio show host for Talktainmentradio and columnist. Last year Michelle advocated for FM and received the honor to carry the torch of HOPE by gaining a City of Columbus Proclamationfor May 12th recognizing it as National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. 

Throughout the month of May, Michelle shared her message, “If you knew how dark my world was, you would wonder how I shine so brightly” to let people who are affected by FM know there is hope for a better life while living with fibromyalgia. As a trained researcher, she compiled years of recorded journaling, enlisted the support of OSU’s Dr. Kevin Hackshaw, the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association, Victory Fitness Centers, and a multitude of local and national business owners who suffer from FM and/or have a relevant product or service to create the 2013 Columbus, Ohio FM Awareness Day activities. Her goal was to educate the public, healthcare professionals and government entities to help raise awareness so that people with FM can have access to resources necessary to be more productive citizens at home, work, and play by learning how to better cope with FM and chronic pain.

As part of her FM Awareness Day platform, Michelle designed the “Exceptions- Get Over IT Challenge” and used her local and national platform to help educate, motivate, and provide resources including but not limited to diet, exercise, and HOPE Motivation for FM and chronic pain suffers; especially entrepreneurs and small business owners who do not have health care insurance, like herself. 

The “Get Over IT Challenge” program provided guidance from medical professionals, nutritionists, exercise-certified and/or trainers, and tons of motivational methods needed to withstand the effects of FM. Lee stated, “This program and many others rely upon our ability to promote awareness having such credentials as a recognized day in cities, states, and in the nation.” When confirmed to receive the FM Proclamation, Ms. Lee said, “We must strive to continually make health practitioners aware of our plight. It is only with this recognition that we will be successful in securing research funds to pinpoint the causes of fibromyalgia, and start toward finding a cure.” 

Since last year, Michelle has not slowed down in her effort to move forward in helping others with FM. Working through Victory Fitness Centers, she gradually started to utilize their warm water pool exercise program. This type of exercise has been shown to be gentle on those with FM with not as much “pain rebound” consequence. It was slow going at first, but now Michelle is a fully ESA credentialed warm water pool instructor and has her own one-hour full body workout class that she teaches to others with FM and chronic pain conditions. But, as Michelle says, "Don’t let it fool ya, it’s a workout to make ya stronger.  We don’t just splash around.  We Get Over IT.” (See Michelle's tip for relieving shoulder pain here.) Her dedication to not only raising FM awareness but also helping others with FM is greatly appreciated by the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association and those she serves.

Now approaching May 12th for 2014, Lee has embarked upon gaining a state of Ohio Resolution to continue the hope for awareness in Ohio and abroad.  Currently passing the Senate with a unanimous vote 30-0; SCR23 proclaiming May12th National Fibromyalgia Day in Ohio is on its way to the Ohio House with an expected positive outcome. (See Michelle’s testimony before the Senate Committee here.) Lee has also been selected to key note the 6th annual Mothers Day Brunch hosted by PriSeCreations, owner and supporter of FM, Priscilla Weeks-Sales has attended all hearings and has chosen for the brunch’s “Cause of the Year”; Fibromyalgia. Lee is heading up the 2014 Columbus, Ohio FM Awareness Day activities and is looking for all who are interested to jump on board and help bring FM Awareness. You can contact Ms. Lee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details and sponsorship information for Ohio FM Awareness 2014.

Keep posted about upcoming FM Awareness Day plans on the NFMCPA website, through Advocacy Voice Newsletters, Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain LIFE magazine and email announcements. After all, May 12th isn’t that far away! It is never too early to get started in planning your local FM Awareness Day event. 

The NFMCPA and people with fibromyalgia and chronic pain salutes Michelle Lee for applying her special talents and skills to help raise FM Awareness and advocacy.