This special Veteran’s Day weekly update for the ME/CFS community includes videos about Gulf War Illness, veterans with ME/CFS and a new face in the community.

Pictured above left to right, ME/CFS Advocate Naomi Edelson, Congressman Jim McGovern, SMCI Director of Advocacy and Public Relations, Emily Taylor

Discovery Forum Highlight: Gulf War Illness and ME/CFS with Dr. Nancy Klimas

This week, in recognition of Veterans’ Day we’d like to highlight the Discovery Forum presentation of Dr. Nancy Klimas of Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Klimas has more than 30 years of professional experience and has achieved international recognition for her research and clinical efforts in Myalgic Encephalomyeltis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and Gulf War Illness (GWI). Up to 250,000 veterans suffer from GWI and, as Dr. Klimas presented, “clinically, there is no difference between ME/CFS patients and Gulf War Illness patients.” Check out Dr. Klimas’ presentation at last month’s Discovery Forum here.

Dr. Zaher Nahle talks research funding with NINDS Director, Dr. Walter Koroshetz

Our Chief Scientific Officer/Vice President of Research Dr. Zaher Nahle sat down recently with the Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders (NINDS) Dr. Walter Koroshetz on the nationally televised program “the White House Chronicle” with host Llewellyn King. Drs. Nahle and Koroshetz discussed current research and funding for ME/CFS, including the recent NIH-funded ME/CFS consortia projects.

This episode is the second episode of White House Chronicle featuring SMCI. If you missed the episode featuring SMCI President Carol Head, watch it here:

Welcome, Sarah!

We are excited to welcome Sarah Jones as our new Communications and Engagement Coordinator. Sarah has over five years’ experience working in communications for Military and Veteran agencies.  She worked for the Arkansas National Guard Public Affairs Office before becoming the Public Affairs Director for the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs.  Sarah received her BA and MFA in Digital Filmmaking from the University of Central Arkansas. She has written and directed several short films that have screened in festivals all across the country.

Humans of ME/CFS Veteran: Tom Walsh

My initial symptoms (flu-like) started in 1995. I relapsed twice. It was all downhill from there. Over the next year and a half, food that I normally ate began to make me sick (debilitating stomach pain and body aches) to the point where the only thing that wouldn't make me sick was plain brown rice. It was also beginning to affect me at work. Stamina and short-term memory were decreasing.

In 2008, due to this illness, I lost my job and health coverage after 20 years. Fortunately, I'm a Veteran and started going to the VA. Turned out that my doctor has CFS. I got diagnosed in 2009 and got disability in 2010. Over the next few years, most of my family and my friends stopped communicating. I learned that when people are faced with a friend's illness, a lot of them fall off the grid. Instead of empathizing, they become uncomfortable and act like they don't even know you. That part is tough. Eventually, you get over it, as I have.

Fortunately, I'm an artist, and I've been relatively happy. I've got a website of my artwork:

Each week we feature stories of members of our community in Humans of ME/CFS. To read more stories or submit your own visit:

Thank you to those who serve

From everyone at Solve ME/CFS Initiative (SMCI), we wish you a Happy Veterans Day and Happy Remembrance Day. Together, we recognize the dedication and sacrifice of the men and women who serve in uniform. Our hearts and thoughts are especially with the thousands of veterans who suffer with Gulf War Illness, which is so closely related to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.

The work of SMCI is entirely fueled by gifts large and small from people just like you.

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