Together Walks to combat chronic pain public health crisis

50 percent of all veterans and 80 percent of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer with chronic pain.

News – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 7, 2017

LOGAN, Utah – The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association, a global community supporting individuals living with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain diseases, will join for 1K/5K Together Walks in cities across the nation in honor of Fibromyalgia Awareness Day on May 12.

Walks will be held in California, Oregon, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Connecticut, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. The events include a 1K/5K walk, an educational program, a health expo, a raffle and musical entertainment. Individuals can also raise funds and awareness in their local community by creating a team in the Virtual Together Walk.

“One in three U.S. adults, 50 percent of all veterans and 80 percent of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer with chronic pain,” said Jan Chambers, NFMCPA president and founder. “Life-altering, chronic pain is real, and effective pain relief is needed now. We cannot ignore the public health crisis of chronic pain any longer.”

Reports by the U.S. Institute of Medicine and the Department of Defense show that more than 100 million American men, women and children are impacted by chronic pain and that chronic pain costs the nation $635 billion annually in health care costs and lost productivity.

Fibromyalgia – one of many invisible, chronic pain diseases –  affects 5 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The illness involves long-term body-wide pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, memory problems and impaired functionality.

“Untreated pain such as fibromyalgia has a devastating impact on individuals, families, communities and our nation. The opioid crisis reflects the lack of available treatment options,” Chambers said. “Your voice matters. Join Together Walks where people in pain have a voice.”

Together Walks are open to the public, individuals living with chronic pain, and their friends, family and caregivers. The walks unite communities to advocate for better access to care, to encourage and fund research into integrative treatments and to increase fibromyalgia awareness, education, resources and support.

Through joining or donating to Together Walks, individuals can:

  • Raise fibromyalgia awareness by educating local communities and political leaders about the disease
  • Alleviate stigmatization of people suffering with chronic pain diseases
  • Create more research funding for new exploration in areas such as small fiber neuropathy, cervical cord compression and myofascial release that may bring new pain treatment
  • Increase support by providing local, accessible resources and information for daily living to patients
  • Promote the ramifications, including financial consequences, of chronic pain to the public, legislators, medical community and government agencies.

Together Walks will be held the following dates in the following cities:

Together Walks in Louisville, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee; and Portland, Oregon, will coincide with September Pain Awareness Month. Dates are pending.

To donate to or register for a Together Walk, visit crowdrise.com/togetherwalks. For more information, visit togetherwalks.org.

All Together Walk and NFMCPA leaders are volunteers. To volunteer or host a Together Walk in your city, contact the NFMCPA at info@togetherwalks.org.

About the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA)
25 Federal Avenue, Logan, UT  84321; (O) 801-200-3627; (F) 435-753-3556

NFMCPA, a not-for-profit organization, supports individuals living with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain illnesses by raising awareness through community outreach, education, advocacy and networking. Visit: http://www.fmcpaware.org/, www.facebook.com/nfmcpa, www.twitter.com/fibroandpain.

CONTACT

Amanda Wray, Communications Director
amanda.nfmcpa@gmail.com; (O) 801-200-36278

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Virtual Together Walk

DATE:  May 1-31, 2018
LOCATION:  In Your Community or Online
CREATE AN EVENT:  Events.fibroandpain.org
*JOIN CONVERSATION: Virtual Together Walk Facebook Event

The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association are delighted to host a Virtual Together Walk just for you! Please invite your family, friends, colleagues, elected officials, and healthcare providers to a healthy, fun event to raise awareness and research funding for fibromyalgia.

Why a virtual walk?

It’s for YOU.

We’ve organized a virtual Together Walk so you can form fundraising and friendraising teams online, even while you are at home. Everyone can participate regardless of health status or ability to travel to specific locations. You can participate in the Together Walks by donating, fundraising, or walking locally. The changes that you make for people impacted by life-altering, chronic pain diseases is amazing and appreciated.

How does a virtual walk work?

A virtual walk raises awareness of chronic pain diseases and funds for research. It is created online and can have a live event in the community. Both use The HUB or events.fibroandpain.org website. For NFMCPA recommendations for a successful community event, use the step-by-step guides below.

Online

  1. Join the Virtual Together Walk and set a team fundraising goal. Form a team of your friends, neighbors, support group members, and family. Or choose to participate on your own, knowing you are part of something bigger! Raise funds for research. For ideas, check out the fundraising toolkit.
  2. Order the official Together Walk t-shirt to raise awareness everywhere you go! You make a difference.

Live in your community

  1. Join the Virtual Together Walk and set a team fundraising goal. Form a team of your friends, neighbors, support group members, and family. Or choose to participate on your own, knowing you are part of something bigger! For ideas, check out the fundraising toolkit.
  2. Pick a location and date to host your local walk. Rolling, strolling, walking, or running is best scheduled during the month of May in celebration of May 12 Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. Choose your distance: you may walk around the block, do a 1K walk at the local mall, or even try a longer walk or run around your neighborhood. Do what you can. There is no distance too short. Post a team update on The HUB with the details! Want an example? See Terry McSweeney’s 2016 Virtual Team – Fibromyalgia Pathways.
  3. Order the official Together Walk t-shirt, and create team signs to raise awareness during your local walk.
  4. Take a photo of you or your team and share it on social media or email it to us at info@togetherwalks.org. We invite you to use #TogetherWalks and #IWalkForFibro. Tag us @togetherwalks on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.  We invite you to share anyway or anywhere!