May 12th has been designated as International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND) since 1992. The CIND illnesses include Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Fibromyalgia (FM), Gulf War Illness (GWI) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS/ES). The illnesses listed above share many of the same symptoms and generally occur together. Symptoms include disrupted sleep, chronic fatigue, cognitive impairment, short term memory loss, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, and dizziness.

Overlooked by Doctors

Even though these illnesses affect vast numbers of people, they are often overlooked or given limited attention in facilities that train medical professionals. Government funding for these ‘’hidden disabilities’’ is minuscule and many practicing doctors still harbor the outdated belief that these illnesses are psychological disorders, which is why the majority of people with these chronic syndromes find themselves inappropriately referred for psychiatric evaluation. These syndromes are also often misdiagnosed because their symptoms resemble those of other serious conditions, such as depression, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or other autoimmune diseases.

Dismissed by the Public

The general population, on the other hand, attribute these illnesses to extreme forms of laziness and depression, when in reality, they are caused by insufficient energy production, weak immune systems, hormonal imbalance, and detoxification problems. But regardless of how many medical test abnormalities patients with these illnesses display, they have a hard time getting approval for workplace disability. Insurance companies frequently deny benefits or coverage, thus forcing many doctors who recognize the disease to diagnose it as something else. And due to lack of insurance coverage and poor quality of care, many patients completely drop out of the medical care system to end their lives.

How You can Help!

If you feel like the lives of those afflicted with CIND matter to you, then I hope you will join in and help raise awareness on May 12th or sometime during the month of May. This year marks the 25th anniversary of May 12th so we want as many people as possible to get involved and so something this year. It doesn’t have to be big. The little things really add up.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Donate to Action CIND at so we can grow and do more.
  • make your own custom clothing (i.e. a t-shirt, bag, baseball hat etc) with a  May12th logo.
  • Contact your local radio and television stations and ask them provide coverage.
  • Educate yourself and others. Tell one person about it and ask them to tell one person so we get exponential increases in people that are informed.
  • Go to and get some Ducks out there!
  • Follow us on Twitter (@may12th, @ActionCIND) and Facebook ( and and like, share and retweet our posts.
  • Follow the events planned at and let us know if you have an event to be added.

You can also join us for the 3rd Annual International Light Up the Night Challenge on May 12th. The challenge is to light up a public or private building in your town Blue, Purple, or Green. Take a photo of the building and submit it to and include your city and country. Photos will be posted at

For more awareness ideas go to If you have more ideas, let us know so we can update the list.

Let’s make the 25th year the best one yet!

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