When it comes to giving back to the community, ProHealth has a long track record. Over the past five years alone, ProHealth has donated over $100,000 to ME/CFS and other related disease organizations, advocacy efforts, and individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the ME/CFS community. Some of the groups ProHealth has recently supported include HealthRising, MEAction, Open Medicine Foundation, Stand for Lyme, Simmaron Research, the National Fibromyalgia Association, and many more.
This year, ProHealth is proud to announce its support of the American ME and CFS Society (AMMES). Founded by ProHealth’s ME/CFS editor, Erica Verrillo, AMMES is a patient-centered 501(c)(3) non-profit that addresses the basic needs of ME/CFS sufferers and their caregivers – how to find a doctor, which treatments are effective, where to find support groups – as well as providing essential information to researchers, clinicians, and the community at large with its library of over 3,500 research abstracts, extensive resources lists, and useful links for low-income patients.
The plight of low-income patients is one that particularly concerns AMMES. What happens when patients become so ill that their incomes are reduced to nothing? What happens when they receive little or no support from family or friends? And what happens when the bills start mounting up? This is the desperate situation many severely ill patients face. Having nowhere to turn, they find themselves at risk of eviction, and at the mercy of a system not designed for people who are ill.
AMMES has established a Financial Crisis Fund to serve this vulnerable patient population. Applicants can fill out a simple form, stating what they need money for – essentials such as rent, food, medicine, clothing – and provide documentation of their financial need, as well as the diagnosis CFS (or something close to it; many patients are never properly diagnosed).
To date, the AMMES Financial Crisis Fund has directly distributed over $15,000 to patients unable to pay their rent, electricity bills, water bills, and medical expenses. In addition to these bills, AMMES has paid for such essential items as shoes (for a patient who only had flip-flops), a bed (for a patient sleeping on a sofa), a wheelchair, and food.
On top of its overall support, ProHealth has also generously donated a monthly stipend of free supplements to the crisis fund applicants. Each and every applicant who has received ProHealth’s supplements has expressed profound gratitude, because not only do these patients have to get their bills paid, they need to get better!
Here is the story of a former OR nurse who has been ill since 1990, and has never been assisted, or even believed:
My experiences with the medical professionals has been awful. I have been what I call physically tortured, treated like a faker, had IV large bore needles pushed painfully into me, without a care as to how it felt, when it could have been done differently, been laughed at by medics, had nurses treat me like I was wasting their time, or wasting their bed in the hospital. Not good! But I KNOW WHAT’S WRONG.
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I have been trying to educate my doctors. I don’t know if they watched UNREST or not, or if any of them saw the book edited by Byron Hyde that I bought for my neurologist, who began saying my problem was Conversion Disorder, because of “breakthrough” problems.
I have cardiomyopathy, CAD, CHF, and mitral valve prolapse. The tinnitus is off the charts when I get too tired, or spend too much time on the internet. My fatigue keeps me homebound for the most part, except for getting out to walk my dog. Talking to people outside of my room can be so exhausting, and remembering their names? So my memory is bad, my ability to read is greatly decreased, I have lost about 20 IQ points, I have problems swallowing, which has now led to lung problems and asthma. I have trouble with speaking the right word sometimes. I called one of the nurses “Tilapia” one night. Her name is Katrina. WHO DOES THAT? I call others by the wrong name, I’m talking about people I KNOW! And they get offended. I live in a Senior Care facility since age 56. I had begun to just STOP, like someone pulled the plug on a vacuum cleaner. And I couldn’t move. So I came here.
I am now 63 tomorrow. You are the FIRST group to actually recognize my illness and believe me based on what I told you. So thank you, AMMES, for giving me a new wheelchair for my birthday. You are a GOD-SEND indeed. God bless each and every one of you.
Nearly all the applicants have similar stories to tell of years, sometimes decades, of misdiagnoses, dismissal, and utter lack of support.
AMMES intends to help these patients in as many ways as possible, through direct financial assistance, free supplements, and being an organization that understands, and cares.
Please help us in our mission!
You can find out more about the AMMES Financial Crisis Fund on our website.
And you can donate HERE. Donations are badly needed to keep the financial crisis fund going. (Donations are tax deductible.)