By Jeanne Hambleton ©
If I said Lady of the Lamp and Florence Nightingale would that get you thinking?
If you have pain 24/7, chronic fatigue, sleep disorder, cognitive behaviour, depression, IBS, RLS, migraines and 92 other nasty fibromyalgia symptoms you should really be aware that May 12 is an International Awareness Day for Fibromyalgia and similar conditions – and a celebration of the birthday of Florence Nightingale who was said to have a condition akin to fibromyalgia.
The May 12 International Awareness Day for C.I.N.D.’s (Complex Immunological and Neurological Diseases) was instigated by the late Thomas Hennessy Junior who died in Florida September 2013 age of 59. His organisation RESCIND, Inc. was founded in 1992 by Tom ME/CFS patient and advocate extraordinaire. Although a very sick man I was in touch before his death. He was passionate that May 12 should continue to raise awareness. Maybe one day this might become a World Flag Day raising money for research to find cures for these debilitating conditions he was so concerned about.
R.E.S.C.I.N.D., INC. (Repeal Existing Stereotypes about Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases) – ME, FM, MCS, GWI, “Chronic Lyme Disease” and other related C.I.N.D. illnesses was founded in 1992 by Tom as he fought to raise awareness. Since then more and more UK fibromyalgia groups have celebrated May 12 raising awareness to highlight their conditions.
The Florence Nightingale Connection born May 12th was the English Army nurse who inspired the founding of the International Red Cross. She contracted a paralyzing, CIND-like illness in her mid-thirties and became chronically ill. She spent the last 50 years of her life bedridden, and despite being severely handicapped she started the world’s first school of nursing.
Diseases that are represented on May 12th. ME – Myalgic Encephalomyelitis; CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; FM – Fibromyalgia; GWI – Gulf War Illness; MCS – Multiple Chemical Sensitivity; CLD – Chronic Lyme Disease; Mold/Biotoxin Illness.
These have been combined under the umbrella of CIND based on existing research and commonality of symptoms. In order for the world to be alerted to these devastating diseases, it is crucial that those concerned about CIND contact the government and media in conjunction with the MAY 12th event.
Tom died after a long struggle with multiple illnesses. He was born in Scranton, Philadelpia and lived with his family in towns across the Northeast until he was 14 when the family moved to Japan. Tom graduated from St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo, Japan and Fairfield University. He enjoyed successful careers in sales and the service industry. After he became ill, he was a tireless advocate for disease, disability and misfortune.
It is our hope May 12 lives on as an International Awareness Day for fibromyalgia and the other debilitating conditions and for Tom Hennessy Junior and his efforts to help those less fortunate than himself. Make a note of that date to raise awareness please. Jeanne