They call us "warriors."
I'm speaking about the chronic fatigue syndrome/ME community and the way they view the autism parents. When I hear them speak this way I'm proud to belong to our group.
For those who are most severely affected by chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, often needing to lay in bed for most of the day with the curtains drawn, they refer to themselves as "the unburied dead."
My desire to assist this community is borne of simple human compassion, but also by the prospect that in their suffering they hold clues to what is going on with our own children.
Generation Rescue, Talk About Curing Autism, and the National Autism Association are all asking their members to support this effort to aid the Whittemore-Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disorders in the Chase Community Giving Program.
Voting ends at midnight, EST, May 25, 2011. This is the last day to vote.
I know how strongly at least two of the autism groups feel because I set up the meeting with Dr. Judy Mikovits to go over her research into the XMRV retrovirus, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, and yes, autism. The discussion lasted more than three and a half hours. Many questions were asked, but the feeling in the room was almost electric. We might be on the trail of an answer which explains what happened to our children, and also why so many mothers seem to have a myriad of health concerns. A retrovirus can explain many (if not all) observations reagrding autism, from co-infection by other pathogens, oxidative stress, mitochondrial problems, vaccines acting as a catalyst for the virus to replicate out of control, and mysterious ailments of the autism mothers.
Dr. Amy Yasko, whom I consider to be one of the brightest minds in autism, is excited about this research because it dovetails with many of her long-term observations and suspicions. The same can be said of Dr. Jeff Bradstreet.
It's time for the legions of the chronically ill, such as the autism, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, Gulf War illness patients, and the hundreds of thousands of children with potentially life-threatenting allergies and their parents to band together in a single forum to raise our voices. Let this be a small step in that direction.
I know everybody is tired. I know there are so many battles to be fought, most concerning how to just get through the day with our sick children. My own daughter just came home a few days ago after spending nine days in the hospital with uncontrolled seizures. But for one last time I ask you to elevate your gaze and take a few moments to vote for the Whittemore-Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disorders.
Here's how to do it:
1. From your Facebook page, go to Chase Community Giving:
2. "Like" the Chase Community Giving by clicking on the "Like" button.
3. Now search for Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease.
4. Cast your vote by clicking the "Vote Now!" button.
5. Search other organizations for whom you want to vote, up to 5 per Facebook account.
Voting for round two is May 19 – May 25
Kent Heckenlively is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism