I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia over 20 years ago. In those 20 years, I've acquired more diagnoses, and more chronic pain symptoms. It's been a roller-coaster ride as I found, by trial and error, and sometimes going back to the beginning and starting over, what works to keep my symptoms and my life manageable.
On the way, I've been privileged to meet a lot of wonderful people I wouldn't have known if not for my health issues. In 2007, I reached out to a local support group, and through an unexpected circumstance, became the support group leader a few months after I joined. In the eight years since, the group has grown from around 20 registered members to nearly 450.
In 2009, the Richmond Fibromyalgia and Chrronic Pain Association was chartered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in order to better serve the needs of the expanded membership. I have served as president and board chair since that time, supported by other volunteer leaders and an incredible group of board members.
In 2012, I was honored to join the Leaders Against Pain Action Network of the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association, which greatly enhanced the outreach and advocacy work that our assocation is able to accomplish.
Through all of that growth, both personal and organizational, I remain just another person with fibromyalgia and chronic pain. The challenges are the same as they ever were, but the journey is made easier through the support of all the people I've met along the way. I am proud to be a part of one of the innagural Together Walks, benefiting both our local organization and the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association, as we continue, together, to make a difference.
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