By: Maria Benson
Logan, Utah. Statement from Sharon Waldrop, Vice President of the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association on Lady Gaga’s recent announcement that she suffers from the illness:
“We commend Lady Gaga for the incredibly brave act of revealing her fibromyalgia diagnosis. By sharing her story with the world, she is giving voice to the estimated five million Americans like me–overwhelmingly women–who suffer with the illness.
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 it lacks effective treatments and understanding. Better treatments and a cure can be found, if we raise awareness of the disease and the devastating challenges it presents daily to millions of American families.
Fibromyalgia’s invisibility and the public’s misunderstanding 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 badly bruised and broken even though on the outside I looked completely fine. I was even yelled at for using my disability parking pass, because people didn’t believe it was mine. Those who suffer from fibromyalgia could be your friends, coworkers, neighbors and family members, who have been suffering in silence with this disease for years. It is our hope that Lady Gaga’s courageous act to step forward into the light will inspire others to do the same.
More answers are out there, but we need everyone’s help to advocate for increased resources toward finding them. We urge the public to contact their legislators and ask them to implement and fund the National Pain Strategy developed by the Department of Health & Human Services to address the burden of Chronic Pain in America. We look forward to continuing our work on finding a cure for fibromyalgia. With the support and participation of leaders like Lady Gaga, the government, advocates and patients, no goal is unachievable.”
The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association is your partner in tackling fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Our goal is to end chronic pain conditions from derailing lives by promoting early diagnosis, driving scientific research for a cure, and advocating for appropriate, accessible, and affordable treatments. Join our online community at fmcpaware.org.