New ME/CFS Book: Lighting Up a Hidden World

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This month, Valerie Free’s new book, Lighting Up a Hidden World: CFS and ME will be released to the public.
In 1990, Valerie Free was a vibrant, thirty-year-old woman: a court stenographer, wife, and mother. In July of that year, she came down with a sudden, flu-like illness and after months of unrelenting and bizarre symptoms was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Despite the challenges posed by her health, her search for answers led her to write Lighting Up a Hidden World: CFS and ME — the result of decades of research and outreach to the chronic illness community. Valerie resides on an acreage with her family in Alberta, Canada.
From Free’s website:

The onset can be fast and shocking or slow and insidious. It can happen to anyone at any age. A flu, a vaccination, or an infection can be the innocent beginnings to the potentially life-long and disabling illness called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), which is more commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), or ME/CFS in North America. In the mid 1980s, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was called in by concerned doctors who were witnessing an influx of patients with a mysterious illness. Eventually the CDC labeled the condition “chronic fatigue syndrome” which turned out to be very misleading. Decades later, in 2016, health agencies are finally beginning to agree with international experts that ME/CFS is a serious, chronic, multi-system illness.  Through artwork, poetry, story-telling, and meticulous research, Lighting Up a Hidden World: CFS and ME takes readers into the fascinating, yet frightening, landscape of ME/CFS. Author Valerie Free shares her personal experiences and delivers illuminating first-hand perspectives from patients, caregivers, journalists, and medical professionals from within the global community in short easy-to-read segments. These stories reveal the disgrace, controversy and tragedy of worldwide neglect by political and health care systems, leaving ME/CFS research underfunded and millions of people marginalized, sick, and socially unsupported.
Lighting Up a Hidden World: CFS and ME advocates for those too ill to speak out, abounds with patient resources, and offers realistic hope for the future. People living with this illness, along with their family and friends, will find compassion and camaraderie in its pages. This book reaches beyond the ME/CFS community exposing the themes of human suffering, resilience, and the need for social change.

The importance of literature and qualitative research on revealing the insidious nature and prevalence of ME/CFS cannot be overstated.  Make others aware of Free’s debut by posting on Facebook, Tweeting, and informing others interested in ME/CFS about this new work.  Lighting Up a Hidden World should be available from booksellers all over the globe, including amazon.com, amazon.ca, and Barnes and Noble, later this month.
Learn more about other books, films, and television that discuss ME/CFS on MEpedia’s article.

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7 thoughts on “New ME/CFS Book: Lighting Up a Hidden World”

  1. Terrific! I look forward to reading it. I’m working on a book of my own, but Valerie beat me to the publishing step. No hard feelings—the more books about ME, the better!

  2. Check it out — available soon. An excellent new book with stories of real people from many different perspectives. Very comprehensive, moving and important.

  3. Dearest Val
    Thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough. This gift that you have given the world will reach further and help more people than you could possibly ever imagine. It will give hope and a voice to a group of people who have not been heard for far too long.
    All our love Lisa and Tray

  4. Congratulations Val. The blood, sweat and tears you shed to write this book will not go unnoticed. A must read for everyone.

  5. Hi. Thank you for this posting. I just wanted to correct the title. It is “Lighting Up a Hidden World: CFS and ME”. It looks like it will be July before all the work is done, but we are getting there. Thank you for the interest and encouragement. See http://www.valeriefree.org for the release date and information as it becomes available.
    Best,
    Valerie

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