FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12 March 2008
National Fibromyalgia Association’s First “Fibromyalgia Legislation Day” Garners Support for Resolution Calling for Task Force to Establish Programs to Raise Awareness
Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, Assembly Members Mervyn Dymally, Sharon Runner and Bonnie Garcia take “Pledge to Care” at emotion-filled press conference
ANAHEIM, Calif.---From San Diego to San Francisco, fibromyalgia support group leaders, advocates and patients across California came out in full force last Monday, March 10, in the state capital of Sacramento to participate in the first Fibromyalgia Legislation Day coordinated by the National Fibromyalgia Association.
|From left: Lynne Matallana, Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, Assembly Members Mervyn Dymally, Sharon Runner and Bonnie Garcia|
The participants, broken up in teams of 3 to 5 members, spent several hours in the Capitol building, visiting with their respective legislative representatives and asking for their support in passing Assembly Concurrent Resolution 112, which would establish the first Legislative Task Force on Fibromyalgia.
Despite little or no knowledge of fibromyalgia prior to the NFA visits, most of the legislators were quick to lend their support to ACR 112 upon being informed of the life-altering affects of the chronic pain illness as well as its estimated $1 billion cost to California in medical expenses and lost wages.
“The lack of awareness and validation of fibromyalgia as a real disease make an event like this extremely crucial to our efforts to advocate for public awareness on the impact of the healthcare crisis affecting the fibromyalgia community,” said Lynne Matallana, president and founder of the NFA. “We are very pleased with the positive reception by the legislators, and we look forward to continuing to work with them on establishing this Task Force.”
Fibromyalgia Legislation Day kicked off with an early morning, emotion filled press conference in the Governor’s Press Room. Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod and Assembly Members Sharon Runner and Mervyn Dymally briefly addressed the audience before taking the “Fibromyalgia Pledge to Care,” administered by Matallana. Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia also took the pledge, along with participants of the Fibromyalgia Legislation Day seated in the audience.
Senator Negrete McLeod, chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, and Assemblymember Runner have co-sponsored a resolution advocating for improved treatments, expanded research at the National Institutes of Health, comprehensive health insurance coverage and increased awareness of fibromyalgia, particularly involving the US Congress and specifically the Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues.
Assembly Member Dymally authored ACR 112 (introduced by Assembly Member Nell Soto) establishing the Legislative Task Force on Fibromyalgia. The resolution calls on members of the State Assembly, Senate and the National Fibromyalgia Association to appoint the 15-member task force.
Matallana and Assembly Member Dymally were interviewed by Capital Public Radio. To listen to the interview, visit
For more information about the National Fibromyalgia Association, visit http://www.fmaware.org/ or call 714-921-0150.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL FIBROMYALGIA ASSOCIATION:
The National Fibromyalgia Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to develop and execute programs dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with fibromyalgia. The NFA publishes a quarterly magazine, Fibromyalgia AWARE, and hosts an award-winning website at http://www.fmaware.org/.