In honor of “Severe [ME/CFS] Awareness Day” on August 8th, an article was published on CNN’s website by Ryan Prior, a cross-platform associate producer at CNN and ME/CFS patient. In the article, titled “Millions suffer from an invisible disease: My ME/CFS story,” Prior details how he was diagnosed with the disease at age 16, when he was a motivated high school student busy moving towards his dream of attending college and writing Pulitzer Prize-winning stories. After becoming too ill to attend school and continuing his studies from home, Prior struggled for six months to find a diagnosis. He notes how difficult it can be to find a diagnosis and treatment for ME/CFS, saying that there are only a few dozen specialists in the United States, and often, they are far away and don’t take patients’ insurance.
In the 11 years since he was diagnosed, Prior has become a journalist and has used his expertise to advocate for ME/CFS, producing the documentary Forgotten Plague, and becoming Co-Director for the Blue Ribbon Foundation. In the CNN article, Prior says that, “despite the hardships, there are beacons of hope, with world-class scientists searching for bio-markers and new treatments.”