Please visit May 12th – International ME/CFS & FM Awareness Day for up to date events, support and resources.
Use Your Online Prescence:
– Blog about ME/CFS. Share your personal experience to help educate others, share some facts and figures, list some of your symptoms. Post links that give more information and explain why you’re blogging about it. If you’re not up writing much point to others who are blogging about it.
– Use status updates on social networks (like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace) to spread awareness – share your personal experience, explain symptoms, give facts/figures, share links to further information.
– Add a line to your email signature telling people about the day.
– Display a badge on your web site showing your support and raising awareness.
– Post a comment/topic on a non-CFS/ME blog, website or forum about the illness and spread the word. Relate your experience as living with ME/CFS to non-health focused topics.
– Add relevant ME/CFS and Fibromylagia focused blogs to your blogroll.
– Use bookmark sharing sites like delicous, FriendFeed, Google Reader and Furl to share relevant ME/CFS articles, blogs and web sites.
– Share a YouTube, Seesmic or Vimeo video from a sufferer or activist, or make one of your own.
– Take and share a photograph that represents something about ME/CFS. Perhaps of yourself, your medication/suppliments, what you can see from your bed or something that represents a particular symptom.
– Design a web badge or banner that others can use to show their support or to raise awareness (we would love a copy here too!).
Take Action Offline:
– Write to your MP, congressional representative or government representative in your area.
– Tell those around you what it’s all about. It’s easy for us to hide how this illness affects both sufferer and those around them – now could be the time to educate people.
– Make a donation to a ME/CFS group.
– Have a mini-fundraiser for ME/CFS research or support. Hold a small coffee morning for friends or have a yard sale. Sell some 2nd hand books on Amazon or old DVD’s on ebay. Start collecting loose change in a jar to donate this time next year.
– Support an organised event. Many support and action groups are running events and you can find details on their web sites.
– Wear a ME/CFS t-shirt or blue ribbon.
Be An Active Activist:
– Alert the media. Write to your local paper. Contact your local tv or radio station about the awareness day. If you’re able offer to speak to them about your experiences.
– Offer to speak at a local group or club about living with the condition or caring for a sufferer.
– Send a poster or some leaflets to your doctors surgery. Action groups can often supply posters and leaflets
– Set up a display. Ask your local library, shopping centre or church if you can put up a display to educate people about CFS/ME.
Use Friends and Family:
– Ask a friend or relative to do a sponsored event this year to raise funds for research or support.
– Reach out to a sufferer. ME/CFS can be a terribly isolating illness. If you know a sufferer drop them a line to say you’re thinking of them or offer to do something practical for them.
– Encourage friends to blog about ME/CFS – if their blogs are usually about topics other than health this can be very effective as they can reach a different audience to raise awareness.
– Ask your friends to join you in whatever way you choose to support the day.
Useful Links for Awareness Campaigning:
- May 12th – International ME/CFS & FM Awareness Day
- Info pack for May 12th advocacy from the CFIDS Association of America – www.cfids.org/advocacy/awareness-day04.pdf
- How to raise awareness advice from FM/CFS/ME Resources
- BRAME – Blue Ribbon for the Awareness of ME – www.brame.org
- R.E.S.C.I.N.D. originators of International Awareness Day May 12 – http://rescindinc.org/may12.html
- CDC’s Official CFS Awareness Campaign Site – www.cdc.gov/cfs/awareness.htm
- Fibromylagia Awarenes from FM Aware – www.fmaware.org
- Blue Ribbon Campaign www.blueribboncampaignforme.org