An ME/CFS Researcher Talks on His Daughter's Illness and Hope for the Future

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
A rare look at a researcher talking about a family member - his daughter - who has had ME/CFS for 20 years.

Dr. Tate talked about the difficulty getting research funded, particularly 20 years ago, in a disease that few believed in. He got interested in ME/CFS following his daughter's severe illness following infectious mononucleosis / glandular fever. He describes the pathological fatigue, the food allergies and the brain fog that afflicted his daughter who had formerly been a good student.

This man has immersed himself in ME/CFS and is well known in New Zealand but early in the video he mentions how helpful it was when his daughter met a young woman who had traveled from South Africa who had the disease. It reminded me of how physically isolated so many of us are; many do not know anyone living near them who has ME/CFS or FM.

The graded exercise program they tried left her worse off. The difficulty the illness imposed apparently pushed his daughter to develop what he called an "intense spirituality". One might have thought that doctors might listen more closely to a medical researcher but most had little interest in the information he tried to bring them on the disease. Eventually travelling to numerous specialists his daughter gathered ten different diagnoses (one per specialist?). He described 14 different systems that can be affected in ME/CFS.


Twenty years battling this illness has left him with a much deeper appreciation of complementary or alternative medicine. He talked about how a person with "healing hands" as well as REIKI and craniosacral therapy helped her daughter not to become well but to reduce her pain and relieve her distress. He described how proud he was and how much he had learned from his daughter's twenty year struggle with ME/CFS.

Then Dr. Tate described a research approach that appears to be rather similar to Ron Davis's at the Open Medicine Foundation. He tells his graduate studies that with very complex problems like ME/CFS you have to be like "kindergartners"; i.e. you have to stand back with an open mind and just take the information in without prejudice.

His goal is to get at the molecular roots of the illness finding out how an infection pushes the immune system into its current state. In particular, he's examining the molecular foundations of two immune proteins he believes may be problematic in ME/CFS. He has also begun a small clinical trial
 
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