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In the Media - 2002

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CFS, FM, & such In the Media
TV, Radio, Newpapers, etc.

(Links updated 2/07)

December 2002

  • Betting on Seabiscuit
    By Larry Katzenstein
    Smithsonian Magazine, December 2002
    Also available in full pdf file
    Laura Hillenbrand beat the odds to write the hit horse-racing saga while fighting chronic fatigue syndrome, a mysterious disorder starting to reveal its secrets.

  • Test May Take Mystery Out Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    Report: Gene Is Linked To Condition
    WNBC (New York), December 2, 2002
    Until now, doctors have had to rely on patients' symptoms. But now, according to a report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found a gene that is linked to chronic fatigue syndrome -- and a simple blood test may be available in the next few years to detect it.

  • When M.E. Stuck Me
    By Soraya Madell
    The Sun (UK), December 19, 2002
    Speedway ace Gary Frankum was superfit until he was struck down by the debilitating illness chronic fatigue syndrome (ME).  

  • Experimental Drug May Help Chronic Disease Syndrome
    By Mark Kraham
    NBC25 (Hagerstown, MD), December 27, 2002
    While there is no cure and no specific treatment, there is hope from an experimental drug. . . . It is called Ampligen, and it is in a Phase Three clinical trial, which means that neither patients nor doctors know whether they actually got the active drug at first, although in the second stage of the study, all patients got Ampligen.

  • The Fallout of War
    By Richard Leiby
    The Washington Post,  December 30, 2002
    The doctor sits at home, filling the hours with television, writing himself reminders that look like prescriptions. "From the desk of Dr. James Stutts," says his notepad, itself a reminder that he practiced medicine until, one day, he knew it was no longer safe. He could not remember faces and names. Before he retired, Lt. Col. Stutts commanded medical staffs on  military bases. He used to helicopter into combat zones to treat the wounded. He still keeps his Army uniform pressed and ready, as if someday he might return to duty. He is 54 and disabled by dementia. He is a casualty of the Persian Gulf War -- one of the tens of thousands of men and women who left feeling healthy but fell sick after coming home. 
    Reprinted as Chemical "Fallout" Lingers from Gulf War I at Veterans for America

November 2002

  • Research kills theory ME is psychosomatic
    By Anne Madden
    The Irish News (Belfast, Northern Ireland), November 5, 2002
    Up to 6,000 ME sufferers in Northern Ireland, like round-the-world yachtswoman and author Clare Francis, are now being recognised as suffering with the debilitating illness.

  • Hope for the exhausted: DePaul study finding therapies to combat drain of chronic fatigue
    By Marc Davis
    Chicago Tribune, November 17, 2002
    Imagine sleeping 16 hours a day and waking up exhausted. That's how Chicagoan Christina Ditto, 35, felt until recently. Ditto suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, a collection of debilitating symptoms that may include tiring easily, lack of energy, depression, pain, severe memory problems and difficulty concentrating. Oddly, insomnia also may be among the symptoms.

October 2002

  • A Battle for the Weary
    By Jerome Burne
    The Times (UK) - October 2, 2002
    Fighting has broken out in one of the most volatile areas of medicine — chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or myalgic encephalopathy (ME). For more than a decade groups of disaffected patients have been challenging mainstream medical assumptions about the nature of this condition, which affects nearly 250,000 people in the UK.

  • The Infinite Mind: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    Hosted by Dr. Fred Goodwin 
    National Public Radio - October 9, 2002
    Guests include author Laura Hillenbrand, explaining why she had to write part of her bestseller, Seabiscuit, with her eyes closed; Dr. Nancy Klimas, professor of medicine and director of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome research center at the University of Miami School of Medicine; Dr. Gudrun Lange, a neuropsychologist at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Kim Kenney, president of the Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome Association of America; and singer-songwriter Janis Ian, performing a song that she wrote months after her diagnosis with chronic fatigue syndrome. Plus, Marlene Sanders reports on why some patients and advocates think the name of this illness should be changed. Her report includes interviews with filmmaker Kim Snyder, psychologist Dr. Leonard Jason, and Dr. Anthony Komaroff. And commentary by John Hockenberry.
    Order audio for The Infinite Mind: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Online Support Makes Illness Tolerable
    By Aubin Tyler
    Casa Grande Valley Newspapers, AZ - 11 Oct 2002
    The five women are part of an international online support and chat group "We Are FMily." . . . All five suffer from fibromyalgia (FM for short), a chronic disorder that leaves its victims with deep muscle pain, crippling fatigue and often a host of other symptoms.

  • Causes of Fibromyalgia Remain a Medical Mystery
    The Globe and Mail, Canada - 14 Oct 2002
    Anne Bell thrived as a pharmaceutical sales representative until the devastating effects of fibromyalgia took over in December of 1991.

  • Debilitating disease launches local man's quest for knowledge
    Bill McClellan, 21 Oct
  • Against all odds: Illness made Laura Hillenbrand a long shot to finish the acclaimed book "Seabiscuit"
    By Sally Jacobs
    Boston Globe, 24 Oct 2002
    It is hard to write a book. It is harder still when looking down at a piece of paper makes you dizzy, when you are so persistently tired that just taking a shower requires a three-hour rest, and when, sometimes, the bookshelf across the room starts to ripple like an accordion. Somehow, Laura Hillenbrand did it, managing to overcome a legion of crippling symptoms in order to write not just any book, but the stupendously successful ''Seabiscuit: An American Legend,'' which was on the bestseller list for more than a year and is now being made into a movie. 

September 2002

  • Techniques: A Way to Keep Fainting at Bay
    By John O'Neil
    The New York Times, September 3, 2002
    The technique is simple: when the patients felt lightheadedness approaching, they crossed their legs, putting one ankle over another in what the researchers called the "cocktail party stance." They then tensed the muscles in their legs, buttocks and abdomen, forcing blood out of the legs and toward the brain.

July 2002

August 2002

June 2002

  • Leaving School She's Never Entered
    By Jill McLaughlin, Executive Director, National CFIDS Foundation Inc.
    Andover Townsman (Massachusetts), June 6, 2002
    Our oldest daughter, Amy, graduated from Andover High School Monday, yet she has never set foot in the door. In fact, she has been unable to attend school since fifth grade. She could not go to her prom and has never attended a school dance, driven a car or done things that most take for granted as normal parts of growing up. She has what is known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in the US, but has come to include also what has historically been known as myalgic encephalomyelitis in the rest of the world.

  • U of M Fibromyalgia Study
    By JoAnne Purtan
    WXYZ Detroit Now, June 7, 2002
    Most people who suffer from fibromyalgia have heard at one time or another that it's all in their head. Well, a University of Michigan researcher has proof it is in their head, but you can see it, and it is very real.

  • Brain Scans Document Fibromyalgia Pain
    Reuters Health, June 17, 2002
    By Jacqueline Stenson
    Brain scans of people with fibromyalgia offer the first hard evidence of what patients already know: Their pain is real and their threshold for tolerating it is substantially lower than that of most individuals.

  • High Schooler's First Day Was Also Her Graduation
    By Meredith Warren
    Eagle-Tribune (Massachusetts), June 18, 2002
    Yesterday was Amy McLaughlin's first visit to Andover High School. She was there to pick up her diploma. Amy, 19, has not attended school since the fifth grade. Graduating from high school was a milestone her parents never thought possible for their daughter, who has been practically bedridden since she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome almost seven years ago.

May 2002

  • Riddle of the Quiet Killer
    By Julie Robotham
    Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), May 4, 2002
    Alison Hunter used to say she had lemonade in her legs and "shimlers" in her face. Still in primary school when she first became ill, those were the words she chose to describe the bizarre and frightening sensations that afflicted her. Vocabulary was still an issue when Alison died. Despite a decade of crippling physical symptoms and abnormal pathology and neurology tests, medical science never came up with anything more tangible than chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) to describe her illness. 

  • Brain Link to Fatigue Syndrome
    By Julie Robotham
    Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), May 4, 2002
    An area of the brain that controls the stomach receives substantially less blood in some people with chronic fatigue syndrome, a study shows. The finding adds more weight to the argument that the controversial illness is biological, not psychological.

  • Seabiscuit (The Book) and Author Continue Winning Ways
    by Ron Mitchell
    Bloodhorse, May 24, 2002
    Author Laura Hillenbrand and her best-selling book "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" continue their winning ways. In recent weeks, the book: was named "Non-Fiction Book of the Year," by BookSense, the association of independent booksellers; hit No. 1 on the New York Times paperback non-fiction bestseller list for May 18; and was selected as this month's selection by the "USA Today Book Club."
    As if that wasn't enough, Hillenbrand, who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, continues to be involved with plans for a motion picture based on her book, accommodates numerous requests for interviews, and modeled for a Pond's cream advertisement that appeared in a recent issue of Vanity Fair magazine.

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Guidelines Spark Media Row
    By Melissa Sweet
    BMJ 2002;324:1284 (25 May)

April 2002

  • No Relief
    By Damien Cave
    Salon Magazine, April 4, 2002
    After three decades of chronic, searing pain, Marie Dabrowski was finally able to sleep. She was able to think. And sometimes, thanks to her new pills, she could almost forget about her fibromyalgia, a mysterious nerve disorder characterized by fatigue, migraine headaches and full-body aches. But Dabrowski's respite did not last. 

  • Franklin Award Nominee Honored with Invite to Presidential Speech
    SAS E-Bulletin, April 5, 2002
    D.M. Lindsay reports that a relative of one of the employees at Mister Guy may suffer from a problem related to Lindsay's research. He remarked, "One might be tempted to say 'What are the odds?', but with one million people nationwide believed to suffer from autonomic disorders, I bet there are an awful lot of families that know someone who suffers from a dysautonomia, or chronic fatigue syndrome."

    In a March 18 e-mail, Dr. C.J. Mathias, one of the top research physicians in the field of autonomic nervous system dysfunction from Imperial College School of Medicine, London, stated to Lindsay, "Please note that the pretzel induced [loss of consciousness] of President Bush was a form of neurally-mediated syncope [caused by a temporary alteration in autonomic tone]. He should therefore have a vested interest in supporting [medical] research, into autonomic disorders, be they fixed or intermittent."

  • Sick and So Very Tired:
    Sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Battle Disabilities and Misunderstanding
    By Danylo Hawaleshka
    Maclean's (Canada), April 15, 2002
    Ashley Roll's mother is reluctant to have her come to the phone. She's worried that answering questions will take too much out of the 19-year-old, but Ashley says she's feeling up to it. Because of chronic fatigue syndrome, Roll is almost a prisoner of her home in Burnaby, B.C. She endures numbing fatigue that confines her to a wheelchair on the rare occasions she gets out. Like some other CFS patients, Roll developed chemical sensitivities, in her case severe ones. 
    Letters to the Editor: Lydia Neilson, President, CEO National ME/FM Action Network and Alison Bested, MD
    See also Canadian Encyclopdia for CFS

  • Runner Goes the Distance for Chronic Fatigue Patients
    By Harry Hitzeman
    Daily Herald (Illinois), April 15, 2002
    When Jennifer Dominguez runs 26.2 miles in the 106th Boston Marathon today, she won't be thinking about achieving a personal best time. Nor will she be wondering about where she will finish in the race of 15,000 people. The thoughts of the 30-year-old Wheaton woman will be squarely on her mother, Lois, who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome. Her goals are to finish the race, raise money for research and increase awareness and empathy for people suffering from the debilitating disease.

  • Sick and Tired Patients in Uproar
    By Julie Robotham
    Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), April 29, 2002
    A row has erupted between doctors and patients over the diagnosis and treatment of the debilitating illness chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The stand-off concerns new guidelines for doctors that patient groups say trivialise the condition, blame sufferers for their illness and promote harmful therapies.

  • Orthostatic intolerance and chronic fatigue syndrome: New light on an old

    By Peter C. Rowe, MD
    Journal of Pediatrics, April 2002

March 2002

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Evaluation and Treatment
    American Family Physician, March 15, 2002
    American Academy of Family Physicians
    By T. Craig & S. Kakumanu S.
    Department of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
    CFS has been the subject of intense investigation, but its etiology and clinical course remain unknown. As the search for more effective treatment and, hopefully, a cure continues, future researchers may be drawn toward a holistic approach to CFS, specifically as an interaction among neural, endocrine, and immune systems. 

  • Battle Fatigue
    By Jerome Burne
    Guardian (UK), March 30, 2002
    For ME sufferers, the bitter feud between the scientists as to whether it is a genuine physical complaint, or more a disease of the mind, has only added to the dispiriting nature of their ailment. After all, if even the experts don't know what's wrong with them, what hope is there? Jerome Burne meets the warring parties - and finds that, at last, they're discovering some common ground.

February 2002

  • Peterson Proudly Waves the Flag
    By Lenn Robbins
    New York Post, February 8, 2002
    The chronic fatigue syndrome that so often has made her training and speedskating agonizing will be the farthest thing from Amy Peterson's mind tonight.

    Also: Video of Amy Peterson's appearance on NBC's Today Show on February 7, 2002, in which she talks about her honor and her experience with CFS. The CFIDS Association website also has a transcript of the interview.

  • Speed Skating: Five-time Olympian Prevails Against Illness
    By Paul Newberry
    Associated Press, February 16, 2002
     "I didn't expect it to hit me as hard as it did this season," she said. "I thought I had it under control, then it kind of knocked me back down again. It's a struggle every day to get through it." Other American athletes were well aware of that struggle, which is why they picked Peterson to carry the U.S. flag in the opening ceremony ....

  • Seen But Not Heard
    By Kate Foster
    The Scotsman (UK), February 20, 2002
    In the upstairs bedroom of a house in Glasgow, the windows are covered with black-out curtains. It is a typical teenager’s bedroom, but there is no sound, no television or radio. The light is permanently switched off. This is Heather McLean’s room, and it is where she has spent the last few years of her childhood. Unable to sit up for longer than half an hour, she is unable to bear the pain of having her hair brushed or her teeth cleaned. The slightest chink of light hurts her eyes. Even the sounds of everyday life outside make her tremble. Heather, 15, from Shawlands, suffers from severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) - chronic fatigue syndrome.

  • Hillenbrand Becomes Fifth Woman to Win Big Sport of Turfdom
    By Tom Law
    Thoroughbred Times, February 18, 2002
    Laura Hillenbrand has spent nearly her entire life as a self-described horse lover, and on Monday in Miami Beach, Florida, she was honored by the Turf Publicists of America for her contributions to the sport of Thoroughbred racing with the 36th annual "Big Sport of Turfdom" award. Hillenbrand, who can barely leave her Washington D. C. home due to chronic fatigue syndrome and was unable to attend the luncheon, became just the fifth woman to win the Big Sport of Turfdom award. The honor is one of many bestowed on the author of the New York Times best-selling book "Seabiscuit: An American Legend."

  • Group Helps Sufferers Deal With a Disorder That No One Understands
    By Wendy Bigham
    The Herald (South Carolina), February 18, 2002
    Maggie Heath has fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome. In between trips to doctors in a Medicaid van, her apartment's living room is where Heath spends many of her afternoons. ... The 59-year-old woman meets monthly with about 15 other women at a Rock Hill fibromyalgia support group. Together, they hope to find out what they can do to make their lives easier, coping with an illness that, for now, has no cure.

January 2002

  • Cameron Woman Eases Own Pain by Helping Others Cope
    By Shane Samuels
    The Chetek Alert (Wisconsin), January 9, 2002
    Bignell established her Fibro Friends program in 1999 to help other sufferers of fibromyalgia cope with the complexities of the disease.

  • M.E. Treatment 'Must Improve'
    BBC News (UK), January 11, 2002
    A report compiled for the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, says the "yuppie flu" perception had been "completely debunked". He said CFS/ME should be classed as a chronic condition with long term effects on health, alongside other illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease.

  • ME Recognised as Chronic Condition
    By Sarah Boseley
    The Guardian (UK), January 12, 2002
    "This has been a disease in the wilderness," said the government's chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, yesterday on the publication of the report commissioned by his predecessor, Sir Kenneth Calman, three years ago. "Sufferers have often been ignored, not always taken seriously, labelled sometimes as hypochondriacs and urged to get better on their own. From today all that changes. This is a real condition, affecting real people. We need to move forward. There are still things unknown about it, but we have a real basis for action."

  • The Younger ME Generation
    By Julia Stuart
    The Independent (UK), January 16, 2002
    Frances Goodchild hasn't seen her friends for 18 months. While they are at school or playing, the 10-year-old spends her time in bed with the curtains drawn. On a good day, she'll swallow a bit of boiled potato. It requires such an effort that she sounds as though she's choking to death. She can't sit up, and the hum from the fridge downstairs disturbs her. Her parents can't hug her, because it hurts. Frances is one of an estimated 25,000 children in the UK who suffer from ME. 

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Updated February 27, 2007