Couple battles ME and HIV

The moving story of Franky, an ME patient and Randy, his HIV positive caretaker and partner.

Every once in a while there along comes a story that leaves even me teary-eyed. Waking up this afternoon after my siesta, I opened my email to discover this true gem from the Huffington Post Blog of Dr Franky Dolan.
I rarely hear from the gay community with regards to ME/CFS and this blog reached out and took me by the heart. It is such a powerful story of love and understanding that it crosses not only illness boundaries but society’s boundaries as well.
Written by Dr Dolan’s partner, Randy Ordonio, this is about two men deeply in love who at separate times have had to become carers for one another as each was hit by disease.
Randy was first diagnosed with an aggressive form of HIV and then later, Franky, following ear surgery, developed chronic fatigue syndrome:
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”As a person living with HIV, watching the daily suffering of my partner who has chronic fatigue syndrome, I can tell you without hesitation, chronic fatigue syndrome is much worse than HIV. “[/pullquote]

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”If you’ve ever wanted to meet one of those incredibly rare people who can show strength in the face of unimaginable crisis, then Franky is your man.”[/pullquote] But please. Take some time to read this incredible story for yourself, and maybe visit Franky’s Twitter page and pass on your best wishes.


7 thoughts on “Couple battles ME and HIV”

  1. While I appreciated this story, I have to say the picture that accompanied it unfortunately sent a really bad message because Franky doesn’t look even remotely ill. In fact, he looks incredibly happy and comfortable.
    All this does is reinforce the notion that we’re just a bunch of lazy whiners who don’t want to work.
    I know Franky is sick. I just wish they had chosen a different picture, or pictures.

    1. He is in bed obviously really ill. One of the most frustrating things in the world for an ME sufferer (or any invisible disease sufferer) to hear is “but you don’t look sick.” You can smile in a picture and still be validated as being ill.

    2. Robyn, we need to be more grateful for the blessings that this story brings. Let’s focus on the courage and bravery of these incredible men. Wow!

  2. Dear Robyn,
    I agree with you on Franky looking happy. Even for me also it is same. When I go out to meet people, I take enough rest, plan my activities carefully and ensure I could perform my best, rather than looking dull.
    In fact I am impressed despite having CFS he is looking very healthy and active.
    While that leaves the impression that ‘we are lazy’, it is us who needs to build the courage to accept our condition, and stand by it.
    On the other hand, even though we have certain incapability, it does not mean we should look pale or dull. Look at the diabetic people, do they look dull? Does it mean they do not have diabetes? As it is well accepted in the society, people more easily accept and support. For us it is a matter of time that the awareness spreads and we will receive greater degree of acceptance and support.
    Healthy Humanity. Healthy Planet.
    Have fun,

  3. This story made me cry, too! These two are angels on earth, and they have suffered so much. I hope that they get their dreams and the help that they need and deserve.
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story of courage and love. This was amazing. Very very well written! I hope we can follow them and hear more about them!! Please keep sharing their story. This world needs to hear more about these heroic men!

  4. Which one is Franky?? Isn’t that the whole point? You can’t tell which one is living with AIDS and which one M.E/CFS plus don’t we always get that….???? You look well. It doesn’t matter how crap you feel unless you are one of those people who gets super skinny on m.e/cfs like my partner you look ill. I’m one of those ones whose put loads of weight on and I don’t look ill. Spend 50% of my day in bed though and only leave the house for medical appointments. That’s the prejudice that needs challening, with M.E/CFS you can not judge a book by it’s cover!

  5. I see two heroes, telling a ferociously difficult journey or torture and bravery. They are brave and gifted. What an amazing story. I want to see and hear more now! Wow!

Comments are closed.

Latest News

reddish rectangle image with different color stripes of red coming out at a diagonal from the center. In the center is the TeachMETreatME logo. The words celebrating an impactful campaign in white font underneath the logo.

#TeachMETreatME: Celebrating An Impactful Campaign

We are THRILLED to share the rolling successes of our #TeachMETreatME campaign with you, as we report back on the amazing medical education events that have taken place so far – with many more to come in the upcoming months! (And don’t miss the global #MillionsMissing events later in the article!) Over the past several

Read More »

#MillionsMissing Week is Here: #TeachMETreatME in Action!

We are excited to announce the kick-off of #MillionsMissing 2024 – our ongoing campaign to Teach ME and Treat ME by educating medical providers across our nation’s hospital systems and medical schools about myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).  Throughout the spring, summer and fall, #MEAction teams are hosting 13 medical education events to encourage medical providers to

Read More »

#MEAction’s Jaime Seltzer Selected for TIME100 Health 2024

We are thrilled to share with you that Jaime Seltzer, #MEAction’s Scientific Director, has been selected for TIME100 Health 2024, TIME’s new annual list of 100 individuals who most influenced global health this year! This is a huge honor based on years of work fighting for equity for people with ME.  We intimately know the

Read More »
Scroll to Top