Logan, Utah. Statement by Sharon Waldrop, vice president of the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association about Lady Gaga’s recent announcement that she has the disease:
“We commend Lady Gaga for the incredibly brave act of revealing her diagnosis of fibromyalgia. By sharing her story with the world, she is giving voice to the estimated five million Americans like me – overwhelmingly women – who suffer from the disease.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by a long list of symptoms, including chronic pain and debilitating fatigue. The cause is still unknown, there is no cure and effective treatment and understanding is lacking. Better treatments and a cure can be found if we raise awareness about the disease and the devastating challenges it poses daily for millions of American families.
The invisibility of fibromyalgia and the public’s misunderstanding of its effects often make people afraid to disclose their diagnosis. When I was diagnosed with the disease, I thought my life was over. My once healthy body suddenly felt bruised and injured, although on the outside it looked completely fine.
I was even shouted for using my disability parking pass because people didn’t believe it was mine. Those who suffer from fibromyalgia may be their friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family members who have been suffering from this disease for years. It is our hope that Lady Gaga’s courageous act of advancing into the light will inspire others to do the same.
More answers are out there, but we need everyone’s help to advocate for increased resources to find them. We urge the public to contact their legislators and ask them to implement and fund the National Pain Strategy developed by the Department of Health and Human Services to address the burden of Chronic Pain in America. We look forward to continuing our work in finding a cure for fibromyalgia. With the support and participation of leaders like Lady Gaga, the government, lawyers and patients, no goal is unattainable. ”