At the keynote dinner Sunday night, The CFIDS Association of America presented Jerry Crum with an award named in his honor: The Gerald R. Crum Award for CFIDS Advocacy. The award will be presented annually by the Association’s Board of Directors to honor a leader in advocacy on behalf of the CFIDS community.
Jerry, who was diagnosed with CFIDS in the late 1980s, was a pioneering advocate for research. With the help of his doctor, Daniel Peterson in Nevada, Jerry’s blood was the first CFIDS specimen sent to Dr. Robert Suhadolnik at Temple University to be analyzed in his research of the 2’5’A synthetase anti-viral pathway in the body. That research has led to the development of a potential marker for the illness and to the drug Ampligen, which is currently in clinical trials to treat CFIDS.
Jerry presently serves as a patient representative on the federal CFS Coordinating Committee. He was the first chairman of the Association’s Public Policy Committee, and his wife, Coco, presently serves as a vice president of the Association’s Board of Directors. He continues to campaign for the rights of all disabled people and particularly for those persons disabled by CFIDS.