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Helping Others Understand Your Pain with Karen Lee Richards

  • Broadcast in Health
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Karen Lee Richards’ career as a writer and patient educator/advocate grew out of her determination to learn more about her own illnesses. Karen first became ill in 1989, but it would be seven more years before she finally received an accurate diagnosis of fibromyalgia and ME/CFS. In 1997, Karen teamed up with Lynne Mattalana, another FM patient, to found the nonprofit organization now known as the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA). For the next eight years, Karen served as NFA’s vice president. In 2002, when the NFA launched Fibromyalgia AWARE, he first full-color, glossy magazine devoted to FM and other invisible illnesses, she became its Executive Editor. Currently Karen is the Patient Expert and Community Leader of HealthCentral's ChronicPainConnection. Her goal is to educate, encourage, equip and empower patients so they can take charge of their health care to ensure that they have the best possible quality of life.