Trifecta for ME awareness in Knoxville, Tennessee

Trifecta in Knoxville, Tennessee
In an example of Knoxville leading the way for Tennessee, Mayor Madeline Rogero and the Knoxville City Council have provided an ME/CFS Proclamation and Resolution in honor of May 12th, International ME/CFS Awareness Day. Supporting the global movement of lighting bridges and buildings in the ME blue awareness color, Knoxville’s Henley Street bridge was also lit in blue!
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention” — the words of Mayor Rogero, on May 12, 2017, after she read the ME/CFS Mayoral Proclamation to a distinguished group of friends, supporters, and advocates.
Earlier in the week, Knoxville Councilman Finbarr Saunders sponsored and read the ME/CFS City Resolution at the City Council meeting. Cindy Siegel Shepler of Knoxville, the ME patient-advocate that led the way for this advocacy, was asked to speak at the City Council meeting. She spoke passionately and emotionally about her concern for young people with ME —— wanting them to have the care and hope that doctors had denied her in her youth. She spoke about her despair when hearing that young people are still being told that this is in their heads. Hearing of young patients on feeding tubes, in dark rooms, unable to speak — she felt compelled to speak out.
Cindy shared that Mayor Rogero publicly thanked her for bringing this to their attention, while looking her right in the eyes with tremendous sincerity. Cindy’s reaction was, “Isn’t that what every elected official should say about a health crisis like this? It really is amazing that they don’t!” Cindy told the Mayor and City Council that these important actions make Knoxville shine globally and how grateful millions of missing people would be. Join us in congratulating Cindy and all the people of Knoxville for taking this important step forward to open the door in Tennessee!
This trifecta of awareness and support from Knoxville is much appreciated and brings hope to the many Tennesseans living with ME. We see it as a very important step towards change. We look forward to working with city and state officials across Tennessee and our nation to create the much-needed change in the perception, treatment, and research of ME. It is up to us, fellow ME advocates, to step in and help propel this awareness into change.

Pictured at left are City Councilman Finbarr Saunders and City Judge John R. Rosson Jr. At the center, holding a proclamation, is Cindy Siegel Shepler, with her husband, David, and Mayor Madeline Rogero.
Thank you to those in the Knoxville community that came together to share the Mayoral Proclamation!
Please stop by the Mayor’s Facebook page and City of Knoxville Blog, and the Mayor’s Twitter account to let her know we appreciate these efforts.
Featured Photo: Henley Street Bridge lit blue for ME awareness courtesy of WBIR


5 thoughts on “Trifecta for ME awareness in Knoxville, Tennessee”

  1. My daughter is suffering from ME/CFS also, we attended an Advocay group meeting in Washington , D. C. In May. We have been reading & learning about ME/CFS , the Invisible Disease and the devastating effects this disease has on the people who have ME/CFS , and how it changes lives for the whole family. We would like to get a group and support for our area of Allentown, PA

    1. MEAction Tennessee

      How wonderful that you were able to attend the advocacy meeting in D.C. If you have not done so, you can contact Ben with MEAction and he might can help connect you to others in Pennsylvania. Thanks for your comment and sending good thoughts to you and your daughter.

  2. I hope you can now go the next level up and seek proclamation from the state of TN for ME awareness.
    We have 6 states with resolutions, GA, MA, NJ, IL, CA etc and TN would be a great addition!
    Good to get all cities, states, provinces aware, and documented at under proclamations, so we can see progress 24/7/365

    1. MEAction Tennessee

      We certainly hope to push for a resolution in Tennessee. Thanks for the encouragement! Sending good thoughts to you and your family, Mark.

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