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National CFS Awareness Photo Exhibit Comes to NYC

Brian Bernard, the 13-year old son of Dr. Donnica Moore, is featured in "The Faces of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome," a traveling photo exhibit that is part of a national health education initiative sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the CFIDS Association of America. "The Faces of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" (CFS) will be displayed on Amtrak's main concourse within Pennsylvania Station, located at 7th Avenue and West 31st Street (directly below Madison Square Gardens), from August 6 - 13, 2007. This event is free and open to the public.

"While I'm not happy about being asked to participate because I have a severe, mysterious, and poorly understood illness, I am happy to provide some insight into CFS so that will--hopefully--help others," said Brian, a rising 9th grader and a well-recognized scholar-athlete. As a result of his illness, Brian missed end of 6th grade, most of 7th grade, and a month of 8th grade. Now back on track with school and slowly returning to his sports activities, Brian said "while CFS is not a fatal illness, it does take your life away. It's very limiting. It engulfs you in uncertainty because it's so unpredictable. It should be called crippling fatigue syndrome, not just chronic fatigue syndrome."

The photo exhibit is part of the first nationwide education and awareness campaign for CFS in the United States. Although more than one million Americans suffer from CFS, less than 20% have been diagnosed, compromising their health care. The campaign is designed to educate the public and health care professionals about diagnosis and treatment of this medical condition and to help Americans learn to recognize the symptoms of CFS and seek medical care if they think they or a family member may be suffering from CFS.

 The theme of the campaign is "Get informed. Get diagnosed. Get help." "Educating the public and health care professionals about CFS is critical to achieving better diagnosis rates, better care and a more compassionate social landscape for patients," said Kimberly McCleary, president and CEO of the CFIDS Association of America, a nonprofit organization that educates the public, patients and health care professionals about CFS and funds research into the cause and possible treatments for it. "This campaign provides credible, evidence-based information on an illness that is still widely misunderstood."

CFS is also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS). It is a disabling condition characterized by at least six months of profound, incapacitating fatigue and post exertional malaise - a worsening of symptoms following physical or mental activity. Other defining symptoms include impaired memory or concentration, sleep problems, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, sore throat and tender lymph nodes. While there is no treatment or cure for CFS, there are management strategies and symptomatic treatments which may help patients increase their level of function.

The CFIDS Association of America is the nation's leading nonprofit organization committed to conquering CFS. The Association is second to the federal government in funding initiatives for CFS. Since 1987 the CFIDS Association has invested $22.3 million in CFS education, public policy and research.

For more information about CFS, click here.

To contact the New Jersey CFS Association, click here.

Created: 12/2/2004  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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