Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now. W.H. Murray
Paying the Price
Our chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM) experts are leaders, every one of them. As Dr. Bateman has noted everyone in this field has had to give something up - whether it was money, acknowledgement from their peers, or just an easy path - to work in this field.
That cost is the rub. Anyone can do good when you're getting pats on the back, but what about doing it when it really costs you something. Thirty years ago Dr. Peterson was vilified in Incline Village for bringing attention to really sick patients who'd started showing up in his office. It wasn't just that his peers didn't get what he was doing; there were people in Incline Village who really didn't want him there. His commitment to his patients was such, though, that he's stuck around through thick and thin for over thirty years now.
An Audacious Goal
Dr. Bateman has a similar commitment. She'd run the numbers. She knew there were about 75,000 ME/CFS/ FM patients in Utah, and that she was the only dedicated ME/CFS/FM doctor in the state. She knew she'd seen about 1500 people over the past ten years, or about 2% of the ME/CFS/FM patients in her state. That left about 73,500 people in Utah who'd had to deal with their illness without seeing a specialist.
She could have fallen flat on her face, and the truth be told, she didn’t get a lot of publicity. But when someone like Dr. Bateman speaks people do listen. She's earned that over the years, and there's something about making a public commitment that moves people
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."
So it began and providence did move in the form of Suzanne Vernon coming on board, and over 1 million dollars - 2 1/2 times the amount they'd originally hoped for - being raised for the Bateman Horne Center. It will open in its new digs on August 15th.
That is a big win not just for the ME/CFS/FM patients in Utah, but for the ME/CFS and FM community overall. It some ways it's the biggest win we've seen in a quite a while. The Salt Lake City metropolitan area isn't exactly a major media market. In fact, it's not a major anything. With just over 1 million people it's the 48th largest metropolitan area in the country.
[fright][/fright]For that community to pour over $1 million dollars in to support an ME/CFS/FM Center says something.
It should tell the NIH, for one thing - which is currently deciding whether to fund ME/CFS consortiums - something about the demand and need out there.
If you can build a $1.2 million Center in Salt Lake City why not a $10 million center in Los Angeles or New York? Granted there aren't many Bateman/Vernon teams out there, but the last few years indicate that the money is out there for credible projects, and that people who enter this field are entering a growth field.
Out of the blue both Dr. Montoya and Dr. Enlander got huge donations without asking for them. Ron Davis and the Open Medicine Foundation have raised over $4 million for the severely ill project. Nancy Klimas has been embraced by Nova Southeastern University and Jared Younger's program is taking off at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. (He just got a new grant). Dr. Kogelnik's big dream of a vast study examining patients under the care of ME/CFS experts became a reality at the CDC's multisite study.
In fact, it may be necessary to start dreaming bigger if we want to optimize the opportunities that may be coming our way. We need new ME/CFS experts to enter the field - not just to treat patients - put to keep up with what will hopefully be a greatly accelerated ME/CFS research field. In their response to the request for information from the NIH Dr. Bateman and Suzanne Vernon emphasized that the research field cannot grow without the ME/CFS expert practitioner field growing as well.
Congratulations to Dr. Bateman for taking a stand that the time had come for an ME/CFS/FM Center in Salt Lake City, to Suzanne Vernon for joining her in that vision, and to everyone who supported them. It's a very good day for ME/CFS/FM.
Here's to bold ventures and a brighter future.