Colorado Activist Introduces Rotary Club Resolution for ME

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Colorado activist, Jim Lutey, has introduced a Rotary Club resolution to encourage research, education and funding for myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME!)

[maxbutton id=”17″ url=”http://www.meaction.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/me-cfs-resolution-proposed-by-dist.-5440-3-13-2019-4-1.pdf” text=”Read the Resolution” ]

The resolution’s purpose is to “leverage Rotary’s worldwide reputation and expertise on polio eradication to raise awareness on the need to educate the public and medical practitioners on the importance of treating and ultimately finding a cure for those suffering from ME/CFS.”

Jim (in the MillionsMissing shirt) proposed it at his and Pam Lutey’s local chapter, and then took it to District 5440 which includes all of Wyoming, north central Colorado, and a bit of Nebraska and Idaho.  The resolution passed within District 5440 unanimously with the 55 member chapters.

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Now, the District will submit the Resolution to the Rotary International Council on Resolutions and there should be a final outcome in November.

We are so thankful to Jim and Pam Lutey for their long hours and leadership on this! We know the Rotary Club is a powerful force!

*Note about the resolution: The poliovirus is an enterovirus.  Enteroviral infections have been documented to lead to ME. (Institute of Medicine, 2015).

Read our two interviews below: 

  1. We speak with Jim Lutey about why and how he has decided to take on the herculean task of getting a Rotary resolution passed for ME.
  2. We speak with #MEAction Colorado Co-Chair,  John Kelty, about his vision for Colorado.

Interview with Jim Lutey – author of Rotary resolution

Describe your personal relationship to ME. How long have you been doing advocacy work? What brought you to #MEAction? 

Jim: I have had a personal relationship with ME since my wife, Pam, was “diagnosed” with ME in spring of 2016.  After Pam and I researched ME, we joined MEAction Colorado in early 2018 and have participated in Colorao ME events.  Pam and I have been researching ME and have followed #MEAction for at least two years. 

What made you think of doing a ME Resolution through the Rotary? 

Since my wife, Pam, had ME, I promoted the ME Resolution first though my Rotary Club at the time, Greeley After Hours Rotary Club.  I presented a program to my club on ME and followed up with presenting a resolution to our club and its members which was unanimously approved.

What steps did you complete to get the ME Resolution this far?  

I am a Rotarian and when I was with the Greeley After Hours Rotary Club in Greeley, Colorado, I proposed a resolution in September 2018 that our board of directors and club members supported.  I then worked with our Council on Legislation designate for our Rotary District 5440 (Wyoming, part of Idaho, part of Nebraska, and north central Colorado).  We worked on a resolution in March and April 2019 that was presented at a District 5440 Conference in May 2019.  Rotary club delegates at the conference unanimously voted to approve the resolution at their business meeting.

The resolution was then submitted from our District Governor to Rotary International in early June 2019.  The Rotary Internation Constitution and Bylaws Committee reviewed the resolution and approved it. Resolutions submitted by Rotary clubs and districts will be voted on by each Council on Resolution delegates from 535 districts worldwide between October 15 and November 15.  If the Rotary resolution is approved by these delegates, then it goes to the Rotary International (RI) board of directors for consideration.

What advice would you give to other advocates who are currently brainstorming ideas on how to expand awareness about ME?

Other advocates should think of creative ways that have an avenue to expand awareness about ME.  They might have a unique or particular interest or other avenue that they could work with that would help.  I, being a Rotarian, of course, had a special relationship with my Rotary club and Rotary District that I could work with to further the education of ME.     

What gives you hope? 

My hope, as with many ME patients and advocates, is that there can be more funding specifically for ME research into cause and effect and ultimately a cure.  Medical providers need specific and current information to help their patients that have ME. 


Interview with #MEAction Colorado Co-Chair, John Kelty

Describe your personal relationship to ME. How long have you been doing advocacy work? What brought you to #MEAction?

My wife has had ME for about 6 years.  When I watched Unrest I thought I’d like to help set up with the 2018 Denver #MillionsMissing and then found that at that time there wasn’t yet anything organized in Colorado, so I volunteered to help with #MillionsMissing and by then was running the FB group and much of Colorado’s advocacy and have never looked back.

What is your vision for improving the lives of people with ME in Colorado? What is your current focus? 

I’d like the CO chapter to have a strong focus in both advocacy of, and support for PwME in Colorado.  Our current focus is on a state-level ME resolution, our monthly newsletter and better engagement with UCHealth.

What is your long-term vision – where would you like Colorado to be in 5 years in relation to ME? 

I’d like it to not be necessary because medical advances would’ve cured ME or made it manageble.  Or if not that, that there would be a center of excellence in ME treatment in Colorado, similar to what we have with our world-class center of MS treatment.

What has been most challenging about undertaking the leadership role in #MEAction CO? 

Having enough other committed volunteers who are there with us on an ongoing basis, and getting enough people to do anything at all even on smaller basis.  

What gives you hope? 

Recently my wife was treated by a CIRS (Chronic Inflammation Response Syndrome), which is often seen as a “mold illness” specialist, and is taking medicine and using a high quality air purifier, and as a result is doing significantly better although still has a long way to go to return to her previous levels.  On a larger level, it seems we are getting closer to medical breakthroughs and are greatly expanding our reach into Congress so we can have more leverage where it matters.

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