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History of Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

Fibromyalgia Awarenwss Day-Past, Present, and Future

May 12th is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. What are your plans? Some may choose to reflect on the progress that has been made, or others may choose to participate in a special event. Whatever the case, it is definitely a way for millions living in daily pain to support and encourage each other. What is the history behind Fibromyalgia Awareness Day?


In 1992, Tom Hennessey, founder and current president of R.E.S.C.I.N.D. (Repeal Existing Stereotypes about Chronic, Immunological and Neurological Diseases or CIND), was on his way back from the International CFIDS/ME Conference. {N.B. In the use we use the term Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Internationally, it’s called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, or ME.} Mr. Hennessey, a patient himself who struggles with a CIND disease, had a “light-bulb moment” which caused him to conceive of the idea for the May 12th event.

Why did he choose May 12th? Well, May 12th happens to be the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. Florence Nightingale was a British nurse who tirelessly worked during the Crimean war and was a pioneer of the Red Cross movement.

What many people may not know is that Ms. Nightingale suffered from a CIND-like disease that left her incapacitated for the last 50 years of her life. Despite her difficulties with the disease, she continued to work tirelessly to care for others. She even founded the first School of Nursing.

Mr. Hennessey’s choice to honor Ms. Nightingale’s memory and tie it into the CIND cause is certainly not an accident. It’s nice that we can honor this wonderful woman and do something to further the cause of these invisible disabilities.


On May 12, 1993 the first Fibromyalgia Awareness Day was held. Over the years, the event has grown. Check out this years Walk of Fame event for May 10, 2008. Even if you are not in California, you can become a virtual walker. Check it out!

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