Lighting Up a Hidden World
Lighting Up a Hidden World: CFS and ME by Valerie Free, a ME/CFS patient from Alberta, Canada. The book, a combination of prose, poetry, memoir and educational material was born from questions she and others had about living with ME/CFS.
The onset can be fast and shocking or slow and insidious. It can happen to anyone at any age. A flu, a vaccination, or an infection can be the innocent beginnings to the potentially life-long and disabling illness called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), which is more commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or ME/CFS in North America.
In the mid 1980s, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was called in by concerned doctors who were witnessing an influx of patients with a mysterious illness. Eventually the CDC labeled the condition "chronic fatigue syndrome" which turned out to be very misleading. Decades later, in 2016, health agencies are finally beginning to agree with international experts that ME/CFS is a serious, chronic, multi-system illness.
Through artwork, poetry, story-telling, and meticulous research, Lighting Up a Hidden World: CFS and ME takes readers into the fascinating, yet frightening, landscape of ME/CFS. Author Valerie Free shares her personal experiences and delivers illuminating first-hand perspectives from patients, caregivers, journalists, and medical professionals from within the global community in short easy-to-read segments. These stories reveal the disgrace, controversy, and tragedy of worldwide neglect by political and health care systems, leaving ME/CFS research underfunded and millions of people marginalized, sick, and socially unsupported.
Lighting Up a Hidden World: CFS and ME advocates for those too ill to speak out, abounds with patient resources, and offers realistic hope for the future. People living with this illness, along with their family and friends, will find compassion and camaraderie in its pages. This book reaches beyond the ME/CFS community exposing the themes of human suffering, resilience, and the need for social change.
ReviewsRyan Prior, director of Forgotten Plague Documentary:
"Canadian writer Valerie Free is releasing an important new book on this disease called "Lighting Up a Hidden World." Valerie is important to us because she is potentially the singular reason Forgotten Plague ever got made at all. Her willingness to spend hours talking with us and with many others behind the scenes has sparked not just Forgotten Plague and the Blue Ribbon Foundation, but numerous advocacy and awareness-building projects. Though she has kept a low profile for many years, she has long been an influential and well-connected member connecting the dots in the global ME/CFS community. Now she is moving into the public light with a book that reflects her years of careful and meticulous research. Her book features her own story of dealing with the disease and includes essays featuring Dr. David Bell, Dr. Daniel Peterson, and many others. Her book will be an indispensable resource for patients, caregivers, advocates, scientists, and researchers interested in ME and CFS. According to renowned author Toni Bernhard, 'I expect this book to have worldwide impact'."
Articles and interviews
- New ME/CFS Book: Lighting Up a Hidden World
- 17 Oct 2016, ME/CFS Alert Episode 83 - Lighting Up a Hidden World by Valerie Free
- Youtube Radio interview Part I
- Youtube Radio interview Part II
- Lighting Up a Hidden World - Official Book Website
- Lighting Up a Hidden World - Amazon (US)
- Lighting Up a Hidden World - Amazon (UK)
- Lighting Up a Hidden World - Goodreads