This year, 2022, marks the 30th International May 12th Awareness Day.
Mr. Hennessy was based in the US but understood that it needed to be an International event. He designated May 12 as the International Awareness Day for the spectrum of illnesses he called Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND).
May 12th was chosen as it coincided with the birth date of Florence Nightingale, the English army nurse who inspired the founding of the International Red Cross. Nightingale became chronically ill in her mid-thirties with a Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)-like illness. She was often bedridden for the last 50 years of her life. Despite suffering from a debilitating illness, she managed to found the world’s first School of Nursing.
Each May I try to raise better awareness and understanding of M.E. through my poetry and blogs.
Here's a look back at my poems and blogs for May awareness.
In 2014 I wrote about M.E. Groundhog Day
In 2015 I asked What are you going to do in May?
In 2017 May 2017-Awareness Month
In 2019 31 Days in May
In 2020 M.E. Groundhog Day (again)
In 2021 More of life, love and loss
This year I'm pleased to announce the publication of a book of short poems for May awareness.
It's entitled 'ANOTHER 31 DAYS IN MAY'.
This book is a selection of 31 short poems to raise better awareness and understanding as well as to raise funds for the charity Invest in ME Research.
These poems have been written from my own personal feelings and experience of living with M.E. for over 20 years.
They also echo the thoughts and feelings of so many others who suffer like myself.
My poems aim to portray the harsh reality of living with a long term chronic illness.
It's available in paperback and kindle edition throughout many countries.
After reviewing all my awareness raising that I've done for May since 2014, I wonder how much longer I will continue to do so year after year?
Am I making a difference?
I also ask if every year my awareness raising is preaching to the already converted?
It seems to me that nothing much really changes. The never ending suffering, poor understanding, ignorance, neglect, abuse, lack of support, lack of help, lack of funding and inadequate research continues.
Where will we be in another 30 years?
Will the 60th anniversary of International M.E. May 12th Awareness Day be unnecessary?
Will the cause or causes of M.E. be found?
Will real research produce treatment and a cure for those of us with M.E.?
Will there be proper recognition and understanding of this illness?
I certainly hope so.
Although it may be too late for me and many others who have lost so many years to this illness - some a lifetime. You can't get that back.
Please support me and Invest in ME Research.
The French Femme