By: Maria Benson
Logan, Utah. Statement by Sharon Waldrop, Vice President of the National Association of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain on Lady Gaga’s recent announcement that she suffers from the disease:
“We congratulate Lady Gaga for the incredibly brave act of revealing her diagnosis of fibromyalgia. By sharing her story with the world, she is giving voice to the five million esteemed Americans like me, overwhelmingly women, who suffer from the disease.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by a long list of symptoms, including chronic pain and debilitating fatigue. The cause is still unknown, there is no cure and no effective treatment and understanding. You can find better treatments and a cure if we increase the knowledge of the disease and the devastating challenges it presents to millions of American families on a daily basis.
The invisibility of fibromyalgia and the public’s lack of understanding of its effects often leaves people afraid to reveal their diagnosis. When I was diagnosed with the disease, I thought my life was over. My once healthy body suddenly felt bruised and broken even though, on the outside, I looked completely fine. They even shouted at me for using my disabled parking pass, because people did not think it was mine. Those who suffer from fibromyalgia could be their friends, co-workers, neighbors and relatives, who have been suffering in silence with this disease for years. It is our hope that Lady Gaga’s courageous act of moving toward light will inspire others to do the same.
There are more answers available, but we need everyone’s help to advocate for more resources to find them. We urge the public to get in touch with their legislators and ask them to implement and fund the National Pain Strategy developed by the Department of Health and Human Services to address the burden of chronic pain in the United States. We hope to continue our work to find a cure for fibromyalgia. With the support and participation of leaders like Lady Gaga, the government, the defenders and the patients, no goal is unattainable. “
The National Association of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain is your partner in the fight against fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Our goal is to end chronic pain conditions and derail lives by promoting early diagnosis, driving scientific research for a cure, and advocating for appropriate, accessible and affordable treatments.