Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Unknown Cause. No Cure. New Hope.


Lizzie Mooney is 12 years old. She is tall for her age with long blonde hair. She likes to wear Chicago Bears pajama bottoms and a hoodie. She’s funny, making up games and teasing her siblings.

Lizzie excels in reading and math. She spends time crafting and watches science shows with her parents at night. But it’s hard for her to make it downstairs to the TV room. She can’t go to school. In fact, she might only leave her house once a week.

For the past three years, Lizzie has been sick.

The government estimates that as many as 1 million to 2.5 million Americans have the same disease as Lizzie: myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME. Despite these numbers, you probably haven’t heard of ME. What you might have heard of instead is chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS. This euphemism for ME conjures an image of someone who just doesn’t feel like getting out of bed.


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