June marks the final month of the Catalyst Fund spring fundraising drive and all of us at the CFIDS Association of America are deeply grateful for the contributions many of you have made this year to help power the new Research Institute Without Walls (RIWW).
We offer five reasons why you should consider becoming a new Catalyst or making an additional gift, today:
- Spark hope for every person with CFS;
- Help launch or advance promising CFS research studies;
- Position researchers to compete for larger, follow-on grants;
- Support an unprecedented level of patient-centered CFS research; and
- Meet a new $10,000 challenge grant.
#1 — Spark Hope for Every Person with CFS
Every day, millions of people — children, teens and adults, from all walks of life — are forced to endure life, not live it, because of CFS. With your gift, you become a Catalyst and offer hope for a brighter future.
#2 — Help Launch or Advance Promising CFS Research Studies
University of Utah researcher Kathleen Light, Ph.D., says “Without the Association’s support, we quite simply would not have been able to expand upon our earlier, smaller studies into potential blood-based biomarkers of CFS.” Now a new group of studies are expanding preliminary data with Association support under the RIWW. We’ve attracted bright minds from top institutions eager to pursue new avenues of research. Read more about these projects here: http://bit.ly/RIWW-closeup
Professor Light and her colleagues used their CFIDS Association seed grant to study gene expression changes at baseline and following moderate exercise in patients with CFS or other disorders involving disabling fatigue, such as multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia, as well as in healthy individuals.
The team concluded that “post-exercise increases in four genes meet published criteria as an objective biomarker for CFS, and could be useful in guiding treatment for different subgroups” of patients.
Since reporting their findings in May 2011 in a landmark paper published in the prestigious Journal of Internal Medicine, Professor Light and her husband, fellow University of Utah research professor Alan Light, Ph.D., have each competed successfully for three-year National Institutes of Health grants worth $2.5 million combined. These grants will enable the professors to lead even larger studies to assess whether their post-exertional biomarkers can differentiate CFS from other serious conditions. Read more about the Lights’ promising work here: http://bit.ly/ROI-Light
In all, grantees funded by the Association in 2009-2010 have already secured $5 million in follow-on funding, a return of 7 times the original grant total. Read more about those studies at http://bit.ly/2011-accelerate
#4 — Support an Unprecedented Level of Coordinated, Patient-Centered CFS Research
With the RIWW, the Association breaks out of the conventional nonprofit role of simply sponsoring medical research and becomes a full partner with leading research institutions. In addition, we are enrolling people with CFS and healthy participants as active research stakeholders through the SolveCFS BioBank, a patient registry and bio-repository. Samples and clinical information collected from nearly 500 BioBank participants are already under study in six research studies and three additional studies are helping expand the BioBank with new participants.
#5 — Meet a New $10,000 Challenge Grant
If you have not previously contributed to the Catalyst Fund, your gift now will go even further. That’s because the Lesser family has issued a $10,000 challenge to help attract 100 new Catalyst Fund donors by June 30. Every first-time gift received by mail, phone and online will be counted toward the goal of inspiring 100 new donors by month’s end to secure this $10,000 bonus.
If you’re already an Association supporter, please share this opportunity with family and friends who may consider making a gift in your honor. We’ll gratefully acknowledge both of you! Donor and honoree will join our family of Catalysts and will receive special updates and invitations to live and web events throughout the coming year.
Over the past 25 years, the Association has raised and invested more than $30 million in research to end the life-altering disability, stigma and isolation CFS causes. That research has yielded important insights into the diagnosis and treatment of CFS. There’s more work to be done, and your contributions to the Catalyst Fund will be critical as we work to accelerate the pace of discovery. Please become a Catalyst for hope by making a new or additional gift to the Catalyst Fund, today.
Gifts of every size are needed to fuel research that will yield better diagnostics and treatments. The CFIDS Association of America is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. You can make a secure online donation at http://bit.ly/RIWW-fund or call 704-365-2343. (If no one is available to take your call, please leave a message and your call will be returned on the next business day.) We are thankful for the year-round support of Catalyst donors at all levels of giving.
POSTLUDE: Thanks to 150 individuals who made gifts of $2 to $1,000 totaling $10,115, we secured the $10,000 challenge grant from the Lesser family. Also, 20 winners were selected at random from 516 eligible entries representing gifts of $50 made between Jan. 1, 2012 and June 30, 2012. They will receive copies of Love and Fatigue in America signed by author Roger King.