Reprinted with the kind permission of Open Medicine Foundation.
On Friday May 26th Linda arrived in Dublin (Republic of Ireland) and was picked up by someone voted “Best Taxi Driver” in Dublin. This great taxi driver took Linda to visit the brilliant and famous Tom Kindlon and his lovely, never-give-up mother, Vera. Linda was very honored to being able to visit Tom on this European Tour.
Linda said, “for over twenty years, Tom has been home-bound with this horrific disease ME/CFS but at the same time has been the lifeline for many patients, with non-stop information flowing to keep us all up-to-date on the latest ME/CFS news. Vera has kept the Irish ME/CFS Association alive and well and has been incredible with her support. We all had a very nice visit.”
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Tom and Vera gave Linda a warm welcome. “It was lovely to meet Linda. It was very kind of her to call out as I am housebound and won’t able to go to her talk on Sunday May 28th here in Dublin. I have been excited for a good while now by Open Medicine Foundation’s work and enthusiasm,” explains Tom. Tom was honored to receive a certificate of merit from OMF for his work on behalf of the OMF patient community.
Many of the ME/CFS community know Tom Kindlon. Tom is a one-of-a-kind gentleman and scholar, with lots of heart. He serves as the Assistant Chairperson of the Irish ME/CFS Association. Tom studied Mathematical Sciences at Trinity College Dublin, giving him the background to analyze and publish papers on the reporting of harms associated with ME/CFS graded-exercise therapy. Tom’s extensive body of work is on ResearchGate and PubMed. Tom is best known for his extensive analysis, publications and correspondence with ME/CFS researchers, particularly in relation to the PACE Trial.
Tom has been housebound for over 22 years. He became ill with ME/CFS in February 1989 at the age of 16. “Before becoming ill, I lived a very active life. I participated in whatever sport was going – soccer, table tennis, life-saving, tennis, cricket and cross-country running. All that changed when I became ill with ME/CFS. I can remember how it happened. I developed an infection the day before going on a school trip. I decided to go anyway. We went on an adventure to the west coast of Ireland. We did much canoeing, hiking, abseiling and orienteering. It was cold and rainy throughout the trip, not the place to be when you’re unwell. I was ill for many days after I returned. But I was never the same after that.” And that’s “…when in time I became a “spoonie”…someone with ME/CFS or any chronic invisible illness can relate to what that means,” smiles Tom.
Linda and all of OMF’s supporters want to sincerely thank Tom for his courage, strength, passion, advocacy, humor and all that he is doing for the ME/CFS community!