Laura Hillenbrand

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Source: laurahillenbrandbooks.com

Laura Hillenbrand is author of two award-winning, best-selling books: Seabiscuit: An American Legend, about a champion race horse who became a national legend during the Great Depression, and Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, about a promising track Olympian who suffered years as a WWII POW in Japan.[1] Both books were adapted into acclaimed movies.[2][3]

Since she was 19 years old, Hillenbrand has lived with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).[4] She is open about her illness, writing "A Sudden Illness," a poignant 2003 essay in the The New Yorker about the onset and her long confinement as she slowly recovered.[5] At the same time, when asked in a 2011 The New York Times interview whether she would ever write an autobiography, she said: "I have to spend so much time being vigilant on my body and worrying about my body and suffering. So much of my own autobiography would be about my health, and I don’t know if I want to spend my professional life thinking about that. I write to escape my circumstances."[6]

Notable Quote[edit | edit source]

"Fatigue is what we experience, but it is what a match is to an atomic bomb."[7]

Articles[edit | edit source]

  • 2001, "Despite Illness, Author Pushed to the Finish Line" by Jennifer Frey of the Washington Post[8]
  • 2003, "A Sudden Illness," by Laura Hillenbrand, The New Yorker, Jul 7, 2003 issue, "Personal history about the writer’s experience with chronic fatigue syndrome."[9]
  • 2010, "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Celebrated Author's Untold Tale" in Elle magazine by Aaron Gell.[10]
  • 2010, "Laura Hillenbrand releases new book while fighting chronic fatigue syndrome" The Washington Post By: Monica Hesse. "Then there are the more recent wins. The time she managed to take an entire shower standing up. The time she and her husband, Borden Flanagan, drove to the alley at the end of their block so she could see something other than the cemetery behind their yard, and the time, a few weeks later, that they drove all the way to Starbucks. Sat in the parking lot. Drove home."[11]
  • 2011, "An Author Escapes From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" The New York Times By: Tara Parker-Pope
  • 2014, "The Unbreakable Laura Hillenbrand," The New York Times By: Wil S. Hylton "Since 1987, Hillenbrand has been sick with chronic fatigue syndrome, which has mostly confined her indoors for the last quarter century."[12]
  • 2016, "Leaving frailty behind: A conversation with Laura Hillenbrand" by Paul Costello[13]

Talks and interviews[edit | edit source]

HHS/CFSAC[edit | edit source]

Online presence[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

ME/CFS - An acronym that combines myalgic encephalomyelitis with chronic fatigue syndrome. Sometimes they are combined because people have trouble distinguishing one from the other. Sometimes they are combined because people see them as synonyms of each other.

chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - A fatigue-based illness. The term CFS was invented invented by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as an replacement for myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Some view CFS as a neurological disease, others use the term for any unexplained long-term fatigue. Sometimes used as a the term as a synonym of myalgic encephalomyelitis, despite the different diagnostic criteria.

chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - A fatigue-based illness. The term CFS was invented invented by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as an replacement for myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Some view CFS as a neurological disease, others use the term for any unexplained long-term fatigue. Sometimes used as a the term as a synonym of myalgic encephalomyelitis, despite the different diagnostic criteria.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC) - (sometimes pronounced SIF-SACK) A US government advisory council that met twice per year, covering current topics related to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Meetings usually lasted for two days and the results were presented to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). After 15 years, on September 5, 2018, CFSAC's charter was not renewed by the Department of HHS, effectively dissolving the committee without notice or warning.

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.