Residence: Orange County, Calif.
An active volunteer at the National Fibromyalgia Association’s headquarters, Lynn Roller is a woman who isn’t letting fibromyalgia hold her back. Married with two grown children, she is lucky to have the support of her family as she makes lifestyle changes, learns new ways to manage her FM symptoms, and supports the NFA and her local FM support group.
Q. How did you first get involved in the FM community?
A. I became an active member of the North Orange County Support Group in 2005. I immediately became involved at monthly meetings by assisting the group leader in preparing written documentation of the meeting minutes, welcoming new attendees, providing them with informational packets, and assisting other members with questions. Additionally, I assisted in staffing Information Tables strategically placed at the entrance of hospitals, drug stores, and city health fairs. This is a small but effective means to raise awareness among medical professionals and the public about fibromyalgia and how patients or family members are attempting to cope with this condition.
Q. And how did you get involved with the NFA?
A. I began volunteering at the NFA headquarters in January 2006. By March, I was selected to attend my first Advocacy and Media Training, Leaders Against Pain. Wanting to be more involved with the NFA, my husband and I also recently became NFA Ambassadors. This was accomplished by a direct contribution and serving on an NFA Committee directly responsible for raising $1,000 annually.
Q. What do you gain from so much volunteer work?
A. I’m lucky: the NFA headquarters is just a short distance from my home. Other people aren’t so lucky. Helping those persons who have little or no access to any type of support, appropriate information, telephone numbers or email addresses for support groups or other assistance, is a fulfillment that one cannot explain.
Q. How has the Advocacy and Media Training helped you?
A. During the months of April and May 2007, I was very fortunate to be interviewed two by local reporters, resulting in the publication of three separate news articles. Each story highlighted a different facet of my personal life—dealing with day-to-day limitations of chronic pain, my interactions with the National Fibromyalgia Association as an organization, and a very special Wellness and Research program at California State University, Fullerton. These articles appeared in Orange Coast magazine (May 2007), the Orange County Register, and the Fullerton News-Tribune. My exposure to media training afforded me the confidence and allowed me to prepare myself for both interviews.
Q. Why were you so willing to share your personal life with these reporters?
A. More articles, interviews and overall exposure about fibromyalgia result in a better-educated group of men and women who deal with chronic pain.