International Awareness Day
(Also known as International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases)
International Awareness Day is observed next on Friday, May 12th, 2023 (227 days from today).
The idea originated with Thomas Michael Hennessy, Jr., founder of the Current Prejudice Repetition Foundation for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (no longer active). Tom Hennessy is based in the US but understands it needs to be an international event; he designated May 12 as International Awareness Day of Diseases, which he calls Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND).
May 12 was chosen because it coincides with the birth date of Florence Nightingale, the famous British statistician and social reformer, and the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale became chronically ill in his mid-thirties after returning from the Crimean War. The disease often left her bedridden for the last 50 years of her life. You will find a more detailed account in The Short History of Myalgic Myelitis.
Tom Hennessy covers Myalgic Myositis (also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Immune Deficiency Syndrome), Fibromyalgia, Gulf War Syndrome, and Multiple Sensitization with chemicals under the CIND box. These diseases, characterized by cognitive problems, chronic muscle and joint pain, extreme fatigue and many other symptoms, have affected people around the world in alarming numbers.
The efforts of May 12 were largely low-level and carried out by individuals or groups of individuals. Because of the mission of these organizations, awareness efforts have, for the most part, focused on just one of the diseases. Since the beginning of 1993, many M.E. was behind the idea, and it was later highlighted at the First World Congress on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Related Disorders in 1995. It was instrumental in the campaign it was used in. worldwide for Myalgic myelitis. The universal symbol of the blue ribbon is worn to spread awareness and support those suffering.
World ME Coalition, a partnership of organizations around the globe, will kick off World ME Day on 12 May this year. This new initiative aims to bring organizations together and unify efforts to raise awareness and advocate together about Myocarditis.
Awareness continues to grow around the world and Serious ME Day was launched by 25% ME Group in 2013. August 8 is a day to remember all those who are suffering or who have ever suffered from severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. The rainbow has been chosen as the symbol for this day to symbolize the bridge from ignorance to knowledge.
The Myalgic Encephalitis Action Network is a worldwide advocacy group for ME patients co-founded by Jennifer Brea and Beth Mazur in 2015. They created the million missing people global campaign in 2016 and increased government funding for research, clinical trials, medical education, and public awareness.
On Monday, September 9, 2013, Tom Hennessy passed away in Florida at the age of 59, after a 25-year battle with Myalgic encephalitis.
May 12 promotional materials and merchandise, including identification ribbons, are available to order from the M.E. Support Online Store. Support ME Ambassador Rochelle Hanslow writes, "While it's important to raise awareness of ME throughout the year, May 12 is the day our global community unites to hear voices. You can do many things to mark the event, such as raising money for a charity, participating in an awareness campaign or by sharing your experience with others. The blue ribbon is a general symbol of awareness and support for people living with Myalgic encephalitis. The ribbon is available from the ME Support store, along with other merchandise in 'ME blue’, helping to raise much-needed awareness and funds."
If you're arranging an event for May 12th, I highly recommend hosting a screening of Unrest, this award-winning documentary by social activist Jennifer Brea of M.E. producing and directing. Please take a moment to read my Unsettled Review which includes the official trailer. If you want to raise money for M.E. Support, please read Donations: Open Letter or Contact Me for further discussion.
ObservedInternational Awareness Day has been observed annually on May 12th.
Wednesday, May 12th, 2021
Thursday, May 12th, 2022
Friday, May 12th, 2023
Sunday, May 12th, 2024
Monday, May 12th, 2025
Thomas Hennessy, Jr. in 1992