On March 4, 1933 at the height of the hell of worldwide depression much more severe than this one President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his inaugural inspired our discouraged nation with a remarkable infusion of hope with his admonition “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” For the one million innocent Americans and their loved ones who daily endure the hell of CFS President Barack Obama has given fresh hope. In a detailed July 26 letter in response to a campaign query by CFS sufferer Robert Miller’s wife Courtney he reported what he has learned about CFS .His letter outlined progress to date and outlines his administration’s CFS plans for a diagnosis and cure. Above all he has shown continuing interest and invites dialogue.

Our CFS fight for a cure seems agonizingly slows. This is particularly the case for those who suffered through the early days of “Yuppie Flu” ridicule and derision and medical indifference. Historically we have seen cures for polio and smallpox and more recently remarkable progress in fighting AIDS. We can find hope in Thomas Edison’s answer to critics who derided his failure in testing 10,000 materials for a filament for his light bulb. He responded that on the contrary to failure he had the success of proving what would not work.

We can be inspired by modern technology and instant communication that constantly marshals the scientists of the entire world to find cures. Recently there has been world-wide attention to a tentative finding of some evidence that mouse leukemia retrovirus impacted CFS. NIH tested blood samples of CFS sufferers and a control group and found no evidence of the virus.
Again we salute Kimberly Mc Cleary and the CFS Association who were the pioneers in CFS research and for more than 20 years have been a research lighthouse. It is my understanding that they are funding studies in related fields to determine if some of the findings might lead to new paths to CFS success.

As President Obama’s letter points out our nation faces great financial challenges. We need to cut expenditures. However care must be given to distinguish the difference between expenditure and an investment. For example at the end of World War II Congress passed legislation offering sixteen million veterans a free college education. The consensus now is that this was not expenditure but was an investment that produced enormous national return. . Imagine the return if research expenditure now found a cure for CFS that freed 1,000,000 Americans to return to the full time work force.

We know that hope beats fear always. .At your last meeting your chairman had it right.

“You have CFS now but that does not mean you will always have it! “

Rev. Bernard F. Hillenbrand

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