by Jeanne Hambleton © 2007
Some 140,000 folk suffering with FMS and CFS in Spain have joined together to introduce a bill to the Catalan Parlament. This law proposes Hospital Specialized Units for the FM and the SFC, the training of doctors, and fair treatment by the ICAM (medical authority), among other things. The Catalan Parlament will be voting on this Bill this month, November.
While I am a little late with this news, I have just found the relevant website and as it is so important I felt I should share this wonderful achievement with the fibromites of the world. My hope is that this might spark some enthusiasm in other parts of the world for others to pursue a similar goal.
It is my understanding that Cristina Montané, Clara Valverde, Jordi Miralles and Gaspar Llamazares, were among the driving forces behind this fantastic victory. What a triumph to have collected 140,000 signatures within two months from those suffering from FM and CFS. This is surely something to be celebrated.
Confirming their success and the presentation of an award in recognition of their achievement Clara Valverde wrote: The Promoting Comission (the patient leaders who do the organizing) of the Catalan CFS-FMS Popular Legislative Initiative (CFS-FMS PLI) received the Alternativa Award last Septembre 29, 2007 in Barcelona, Spain.
The award is given every year to a group who does something significant for social justice. The CFS-FMS PLI Promoting Comission got the Award for mobilizing Catalan society around new and, up to now, ignored illnesses, gathering in 140.000 signatures in two months (only 50.000 were needed and there was 6 months to gather them), and fighting for a just cause: competent medical services for CFS and FMS patients.
The Alternativa Award was given by the third most important politician in Spain, Gaspar Llamazares, in an awards dinner for 1100 people. The Comission thanked the signature gatherers, all the FMS and CFS associations and all those who signed and supported the initiative.
At the moment, the signatures are being validated by the Catalan Statistics Institute and in Novembre they will be taken to the Catalan Parlament. Then it will be voted whether to accept the PLI for discussion and debate and then, finally, the final vote.
The Promoting Comission is now very busy meeting with politicians from all Catalan parties and other relevant figures in Catalonia, in light of the difficulties that the last stage of this process poses.
With congratulations pouring in for the group’s success one man wrote: “Your activity has been so dynamic, relentless and effective it is vindicating to hear that it has been recognized.”
I agree completely. I look forward to hearing more after the Catalan Parlament has voted for the Bill.
The following report has been taken from the SFC League website. If you can read Spanish you will find more about the event by logging on to
If not, may I suggest you search this address on Google where you will be offered a translation if you click the button to the right.
I am just so delighted for these folk who have worked so hard, I hope they will forgive me for reproducing this information from their website – no copyright infringement meant.
‘At the presentation dinner congratulations and thanks were given to everyone concerned with this endeavour and SFC FM associations who have supported this ILP (16 associations Catalan), and 140 fedetarios who have collected signatures, 140,000 citizens you have signed the ILP, the 164 community organizations that have supported this initiative, the 32 personalities who have given their name to the ILP and international experts who have joined.
‘Therefore, in our isolation, we are excited that we support with your reward in this incredible journey being the Initiative Legislative People. Together, you, we, the 140,000 Catalans who have signed this ILP, and the rest of the sick, we are living a historic moment and magic. For the first time, is going to get a law made by the people to ensure proper recognition for a group that has until now been abandoned and desperate.’
Clara Valverde thanked everyone who had taken part in this endeavour and said,
“With your support we show that you really matter in social justice.”
She described the initiative as “an act of commitment to real democracy.”
She added, “Thanks for all of us who every day have to climb Everest just to get up from bed. But today, in particular, has been worth it to climb Everest to be with you.
“While we, people with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, spend our days isolated in our homes, tossed, invisible to society, in reality we are not alone and now noticeable. We note that our dream of living in a society that moves and is concerned about the vulnerability is also your dream. And that dream what we are building together. Thanks. Thanks for all of us and all sick of Catalonia, all those who are shipwrecked now, but we are determined to reach port safely. Or at least saved. Thanks for being visible,” said Clara Valverde.
For more information log on to – http://www.ligasfc.org/index.php