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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
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